Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to several widely used antibiotics, making it a particularly challenging and dangerous infection. This resistance means that infections caused by MRSA can be more difficult to treat than other bacterial infections. Here are some key points about MRSA: 1. Antibiotic Resistance: MRSA is resistant to methicillin and other antibiotics in the same class, including oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. This resistance arises due to genetic changes in the bacteria that allow them to survive exposure to these antibiotics.
2. Common Locations: MRSA is commonly found in hospitals and other healthcare settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers, where it can cause severe problems like bloodstream infections, pneumonia, and surgical site infections. It can also be found in the community, typically causing skin infections.

3. Transmission: MRSA can be spread by direct contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin. In healthcare settings, it can spread via the hands of healthcare workers or through contact with contaminated surfaces.
4. Symptoms: In the community, MRSA often presents as skin infections that may look like pimples, boils, or spider bites that are red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. More serious infections may cause fever, chest pain, coughs, fatigue, and chills.
5. Prevention and Control: Good hygiene practices, including regular hand washing and keeping cuts and scrapes clean and covered until healed, are crucial to preventing MRSA infections. In healthcare settings, preventing MRSA involves a combination of hygiene measures, proper use of personal protective equipment, and sometimes isolation of affected patients.
6. Treatment: Although MRSA is resistant to many common antibiotics, there are still some antibiotics that can effectively treat MRSA infections. Treatment may involve draining abscesses or other surgical interventions depending on the location and severity of the infection.
Due to its resistance to multiple antibiotics, MRSA is a major focus of infection control and public health initiatives aimed at reducing the spread of resistant bacteria.

Understanding Basics: NHSN MRSA Bacteremia & CDI Event Reporting