Table of Contents
- MRSA infections facts
- What is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?
- What is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)? (Continued)
- How many strains of MRSA are there?
- 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?
- Is a MRSA infection contagious?
- How is a MRSA infection transmitted or spread?
- What tests do medical professionals use to diagnose a MRSA infection?
- What types of doctors treat MRSA infections?
- How should caregivers treat MRSA patients at home?
- What is the treatment for a MRSA infection?
- What is the treatment for a MRSA infection? (Continued)
- What is the prognosis 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?
What is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a common skin bacteria. It is sometimes called staph, and it most often causes skin and soft tissue infections. Although S. aureus has been causing staph infections as long as humans have existed, MRSA has only been around since 1961. Methicillin was one of the first antibiotics used to treat S. aureus and other infections. S. aureus developed a gene mutation that allowed it to escape being killed by methicillin, so it became resistant to methicillin. That makes it harder to treat someone who gets an infection. Stronger, more expensive, or intravenous antibiotics may be needed.
Since the 1960s, MRSA has picked up more resistance to different antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics has increased resistance in MRSA and other infectious bacteria, because resistance genes (the genes that code for resistance) can be passed from bacteria to bacteria.
If a doctor orders a test for bacteria on a specimen of pus, for example, the laboratory will alert the doctor if the test shows MRSA, so that precautions can be taken, and the right treatment can be started.