What is MRSA?
MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a type of staphylococcus bacteria (staph) that is resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics.
MRSA isn’t found in the natural environment (soil or water). It lives in the nose and on the skin of humans. MRSA is spread by coming in contact with an infected person or by exposure to a MRSA-contaminated object or surface that an infected person touches.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It’s tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus or staph because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics.
Staph skin infections, including MRSA, generally start as small red bumps that resemble pimples, boils or spider bites. These can quickly turn into deep, painful abscesses that require surgical draining. Sometimes the bacteria remain confined to the skin. But they can also burrow deep into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.
MRSA infections are common among people who have weak immune systems and are in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care centers. Infections can appear around surgical wounds or invasive devices, like catheters or implanted feeding tubes. Rates of infection in hospitals have been steadily declining since 2005. Rates of community-associated MRSA, or infection of healthy people who have not been hospitalized, have also decreased since 2005.
MRSA may look like a bump on the skin that may be red, swollen, warm to the touch, painful, filled with pus, or draining. The pus or drainage contains the infectious bacteria that can be spread to others. People with MRSA may have a fever. see images below MRSA look like.
MRSA Infection treatment
Antibiotic therapy is still the mainstay of medical care for MRSA, but antibiotic therapy is complicated by MRSA’s antibiotic resistance. Consequently, laboratory determination of MRSA antibiotic resistance and susceptibility is important in establishing effective antibiotic treatment. Definitive antibiotic therapy depends on using those antibiotics shown in microbiological tests (using Kirby-Bauer antibiotic discs on agar plates [see above diagnosis section]) to effectively reduce and stop MRSA growth. Once the antibiotic sensitivities of the patient sample are determined, the patient can be treated appropriately. Unfortunately, these tests take time (usually several days) before results are available.