Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections. MRSA infections can occur in places such as nursing homes or dialysis centers.
HA-MRSA (healthcare associated) infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

A second type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community — among healthy people. This form, CA-MRSA (community associated) often begins as a painful skin boil. It's spread by skin-to-skin contact. People at risk include groups like high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.

Cutaneous abscess caused by MRSA
Cutaneous abscess caused by MRSA


  • Small red bumps
  • Pain around the area
  • Infected area on the skin
  • Swollen area of the skin
  • Pus-filled infection


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.

When to see a doctor

Watch minor skin problems - cuts, scrapes, pimples, insect bites (especially in kids) to make sure they do not develop an infection. If an infection has developed, DO NOT TRY TO TREAT ON YOUR OWN. Seek a doctor for proper treatment.


Different varieties of the staph bacteria exist. Staph bacteria are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. The bacteria are generally harmless unless they enter the body through a cut or other wound, and even then they usually cause only minor skin problems in healthy people.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 2 percent of the population carries the type of staph bacteria known as MRSA.

MRSA is the result of decades of often unnecessary antibiotic use. For years, antibiotics have been prescribed for colds, flu and other viral infections that don't respond to these drugs. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, they contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria because they don't destroy every germ they target. Germs that are not killed with one antibiotic soon learn to resist others.

Risk Factors

Risk factors for HA-MRSA

  • Being hospitalized. MRSA remains a concern in hospitals, where it can attack those most vulnerable — older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
  • Having an invasive medical device. Medical tubing — such as intravenous lines or urinary catheters — can provide a pathway for MRSA to travel into your body.
  • Residing in a long-term care facility. MRSA is prevalent in nursing homes. Carriers of MRSA have the ability to spread it, even if they're not sick themselves.

Risk factors for CA-MRSA

  • Participating in contact sports. MRSA can spread easily through cuts and abrasions and skin-to-skin contact.
  • Living in crowded or unsanitary conditions. Outbreaks of MRSA have occurred in military training camps, child care centers and jails.
  • Men having sex with men. Homosexual men have a higher risk of developing MRSA infections.

MRSA infections can resist the effects of many common antibiotics, so they are more difficult to treat. This can allow the infections to spread and sometimes become life-threatening.

It is very important it does not spread to:
  • Bloodstream
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Bones
  • Joints


Either a tissue sample, blood, urine, or secretions from the nose are taken and sent to a lab where it's placed in a dish of nutrients that encourage bacterial growth. But because it takes about 48 hours for the bacteria to grow, newer tests that can detect staph DNA in a matter of hours are now becoming more widely available.

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MRSA is very resistant to may antibiotics, but not all. It can still be treated with certain antibiotics. The infected area can also be drained and my not even need to be treated with antibiotics.


Preventing HA-MRSA

In the hospital, people who are infected or colonized with MRSA often are placed in isolation as a precaution to prevent the spread of MRSA. Visitors and health care workers caring for the person infected may be required to wear protective garments and must follow strict hand hygiene procedures. Contaminated surfaces and laundry items are to be properly disinfected.

Preventing CA-MRSA
  • Wash your hands. Careful hand-washing remains your best defense against germs. Wash hands for at least 15 seconds, then dry them with a disposable towel and use another towel to turn off the faucet.
  • Keep wounds covered. Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with sterile, dry bandages until they heal. The pus from infected sores may contain MRSA, and keeping wounds covered will help keep the bacteria from spreading.
  • Keep personal items personal. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, sheets, razors, clothing and athletic equipment. MRSA spreads on contaminated objects as well as through direct contact.
  • Shower after athletic games or practices. Shower immediately after each game or practice. Use soap and water. Don't share towels.
  • Sanitize linens. If you have a cut or sore, wash towels and bed linens in a washing machine set to the hottest water setting (with added bleach, if possible) and dry them in a hot dryer. Wash gym and athletic clothes after each wearing.


Each student in the group is responsible for one of the topics below. * MRSA must be covered.
As a group you are responsible for creating your own Wiki covering the topics assigned. You may attach files, articles,
videos, pictures and/or word documents

Be prepared to give your reports orally to the class using your Wiki.

Included in your report should be a description of the infectious disease, who it affects, treatment and prognosis.

strep throat

How to use the wiki page
  1. To enter content on this page, click the EDIT tab located on the top, right side of the page.
  2. Enter the information and click Save to save changes.

You can upload and/ or create links to external website or to a page in the wiki.
  1. To upload a file or an image, click the Fileicon on the tool bar, upload the file.
  2. Click the Link icon to enter a link to a url or link to a page in the wiki.