As everyone was watching the Super Bowl today, I thought it appropriate to review an infection that is common in those who play football: MRSA skin and soft tissue infections.
One of the most famous associations of this organism with a football team was with the 2003 St. Louis Rams. In that incident, MRSA skin infections occurred in 9% of the Rams with--ominously--42% of players and staff colonized in their nasal passages.
More recent studies, have confirmed similarly high prevalence of infection with MRSA in high school football players as well.
Skin abrasions (i.e. turf burn) are thought to predispose to infections while the close contact amongst players coupled with suboptimal hygiene predisposes to colonization.
MRSA--another reason to prefer skateboarding (my favorite sport).