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Methicillin-Resistant Staph Infection

(MRSA; Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection; Infection, Methicillin-Resistant; Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Community-Acquired MRSA; CA-MRSA; Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Nosocomial MRSA; Healthcare-Associated MRSA; HA-MRSA)

Definition

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a potentially serious infection that resists antibiotics. MRSA can affect the skin, blood, bones, or lungs. A person can either be infected or colonized with MRSA.
There are 2 types of MRSA infections:
MRSA can spread several ways:

Causes

MRSA is caused by specific bacteria that resist antibiotics. Over time, bacteria adapt to repeated exposure to antibiotics, building up a resistance to them.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of developing MRSA include:

Symptoms

MRSA may not cause any symptoms in people who are colonized, but not infected, with the bacteria. In those that have symptoms, MRSA may cause:
Infected Hair Follicle—Folliculitis
Inflammed hair follicle
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Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:

Treatment

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:

Medications

Antibiotics are given to kill the bacteria. Only a few antibiotics are available that can treat MRSA.

Incision and Drainage of an Abscess

Your doctor may open the abscess and allow the fluid to drain. Do not attempt to do this on your own.

Cleansing of the Skin

Do the following to treat the infection and to keep it from spreading:
  1. Wash your skin with an antibacterial cleanser.
  2. Cover your skin with a sterile dressing.

Decolonization

Decolonization is a process to help rid your body of the bacteria so you do not reinfect yourself. This process may involve using nasal ointments, washing with special soap, and taking medications, including antibiotics. Decolonization is only recommended in certain cases.

Prevention

To help reduce your chance of MRSA:

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

References

Barton M, Hawkes M, Moore D, et al. Guidelines for the prevention and management of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: A perspective for Canadian health care practitioners. Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2006;17(Suppl C):4C.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 4, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.

MRSA decolonization. Aurora BayCare Medical Center website. Available at: https://ahc.aurorahealthcare.org/fywb/baycare/x34012bc.pdf. Accessed August 10, 2015.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa. Updated August 4, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.

MRSA. Nemours Foundation Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial%5Fviral/mrsa.html. Updated June 2014. Accessed August 10, 2015.

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