MRSA Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

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MRSA Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus

Post  Hummingbird on Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:51 pm

MRSA infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — often called "staph." MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It's a strain of staph that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA can be fatal.

Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. It's known as health care-associated MRSA, or HA-MRSA. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at most risk of HA-MRSA. More recently, another type of MRSA has occurred among otherwise healthy people in the wider community. This form, community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA, is responsible for serious skin and soft tissue infections and for a serious form of pneumonia.

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 penetrate into the body, causing potentially life-threatening infections in bones, joints, surgical wounds, the bloodstream, heart valves and lungs.

MRSA is a strain of staph that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it.

Staph infections
Staph bacteria are normally found on the skin or in the nose of about one-third of the population. If you have staph on your skin or in your nose but aren't sick, you are said to be "colonized" but not infected. Healthy people can be colonized and have no ill effects. However, they can pass the germ to others.

Staph bacteria are generally harmless unless they enter the body through a cut or other wound, and even then they often cause only minor skin problems in healthy people. However, staph infections can cause serious illness. This most often happens in older adults and people who have weakened immune systems, usually in hospitals and long term care facilities. But in the past several years, serious infections have been occurring in otherwise healthy people in the community, for example athletes who share equipment or personal items.

Antibiotic resistance
Although the survival tactics of bacteria contribute to antibiotic resistance, humans bear most of the responsibility for the problem. Leading causes of antibiotic resistance include:

* Unnecessary antibiotic use. Like other superbugs, MRSA is the result of decades of excessive and unnecessary antibiotic use. For years, antibiotics have been prescribed for colds, flu and other viral infections that don't respond to these drugs, as well as for simple bacterial infections that normally clear on their own.
* Antibiotics in food and water. Prescription drugs aren't the only source of antibiotics. In the United States, antibiotics can be found in livestock. These antibiotics find their way into municipal water systems when the runoff from feedlots contaminates streams and groundwater.
* Germ mutation. Even when antibiotics are used appropriately, they contribute to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria because they don't destroy every germ they target. Bacteria live on an evolutionary fast track, so germs that survive treatment with one antibiotic soon learn to resist others. And because bacteria mutate much more quickly than new drugs can be produced, some germs end up resistant to just about everything. That's why only a handful of drugs are now effective against most forms of staph.
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MRSA

Post  mamabear on Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:20 am

Hi there to all! Jane, as you know, my sis has MRSA. She almost lost a leg, was in a medically induced coma for 19 days, lost a kidney, kept 5 different drain tubes in various parts of her anatomy (all below the waist) for about a year.This was picked up in the hospital and then ignored by her so called specialist physicians. Thank you Lord, she is all better now!!! Will always have to be careful of anything suspicious on or in her body. It is a really nasty bug!!!! See ya! lyrb

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