What Is Antibiotic-Resistant Staph aureus?
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, known as MRSA, is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin and other drugs in the same class, including penicillin, amoxicillin, and oxacillin. MRSA is one example of a so-called "superbug," an informal term used to describe a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics usually used to treat it. MRSA first appeared in patients in hospitals and other health facilities, especially among the elderly, the very sick, and those with an open wound (such as a bedsore) or catheter in the body (health-care-associated MRSA or HA-MRSA). MRSA has since been found to cause illness in the community outside of hospitals and other health facilities and in this case is known as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). MRSA in the community is associated with recent antibiotic use, sharing contaminated items, having active skin diseases or injuries, poor hygiene, and living in crowded settings.