MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) Infections
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- MRSA infections facts
- What is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?
- What does a MRSA infection look like?
- What are the risk factors for MRSA infections?
- What are the signs and symptoms of a MRSA infection?
- How is a MRSA infection transmitted or spread?
- How is a MRSA infection diagnosed?
- How should caregivers treat MRSA patients at home?
- What is the treatment for a MRSA infection?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) of a MRSA infection?
- How can people prevent a MRSA infection?
- What are the potential complications of a MRSA infection?
- What is a superbug?
- Where are other MRSA information sources?
- Pictures of MRSA - Slideshow
- Take the MRSA Quiz!
- Pictures of Staph Infection - Slideshow
- MRSA Infection FAQs
- Patient Comments: MRSA - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: MRSA -Treatment
- Patient Comments: MRSA - Prevention
- Find a local Infectious Disease Specialist in your town
MRSA infections facts
- MRSA means methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
- The majority of MRSA infections are classified as CA-MRSA (community acquired) or HA-MRSA (hospital- or health-care-acquired).
- MRSA infections are transmitted from person to person by direct contact with the skin, clothing, or area (for example, sink, bench, bed, and utensil) that had recent physical contact with a MRSA-infected person.
- The majority of CA-MRSA starts as skin infections. HA-MRSA can begin an infection of the skin, a wound (often a surgical site), or a location where medical devices are placed (catheters, IV lines, or other devices).
- Cellulitis, abscess, or draining pus is often one of the first signs and symptoms of MRSA infections.
- Most MRSA infections are diagnosed by culture and antibiotic sensitivity testing of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria isolated from an infected site; a PCR test is also available.
- Currently, MRSA bacteria are almost always found to be resistant to multiple antibiotics. All isolated MRSA strains need to have antibiotic susceptibility determined to choose the correct or appropriate antibiotic therapy.
- Treatment of HA-MRSA frequently involves the use of vancomycin, often in combination with other antibiotics given by IV. CA-MRSA can often be treated on an outpatient basis with specific oral or topical antibiotics, but some serious CA-MRSA infections (for example, pneumonia) often require appropriate antibiotics by IV.
- Prevention of MRSA is possible by excellent hygiene practices, avoiding skin contact with infected people or items they have touched, and by wearing disposable gloves, gowns, and masks when treating or visiting hospitalized MRSA patients. Covering skin abrasions and minor lacerations immediately may also help prevent MRSA infections, especially in children and in people involved in group sports activities.
- MRSA is considered to be one of the 18 microbes listed by the CDC as a multidrug-resistant microbe or "superbug."
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