Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)


Staphylococcus aureus (staph) is a type of bacteria that normally lives on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. Sometimes, staph can cause infections, such as boils, abscesses, impetigo, or cellulitis. Most staph infections are mild and can be treated with antibiotics. However, some staph bacteria have become resistant to certain antibiotics, making them harder to treat. One of the most common types of antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

MRSA was first discovered in the early 1960s, shortly after the introduction of methicillin, a type of penicillin that was effective against staph infections. However, some staph bacteria developed a gene (mecA) that made them resistant to methicillin and other beta-lactam antibiotics. MRSA can cause serious infections, such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, bone and joint infections, or surgical site infections. MRSA can also produce toxins that can damage tissues and organs.

MRSA infections can occur in different settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, dialysis centers, or community settings. Depending on where they occur, MRSA infections can be classified into two types: community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) and hospital-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). These types of MRSA differ in their genetic makeup, antibiotic resistance patterns, virulence factors, and clinical manifestations. In this article, we will discuss the characteristics and detection methods of these two types of MRSA.