Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Overview


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Source: Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology (p. 214). Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (known as MRSA) is an antibiotic-resistant bacteria and is termed a “superbug.” Most “staph” infections can be treated with antibiotics. These bacteria can be found in our armpit, groin, nose, and throat, but can cause serious infection when introduced into tissue through cuts or wounds. When inside the body, S. aureus can secrete toxins which damages and kills body cells leading to severe inflammation. About 1% of the population carry the strain of MRSA. Minor infection of MRSA can turn harmful or even deadly. Some serious MRSA infection prognosis includes MRSA pneumonia and sepsis (blood poisoning) which have a high death rate.

– Can MRSA be found in our throat and armpits?

– Aside from pneumonia, what is one other complication of MRSA infection?

MRSA bacteria can be transmitted in various ways either directly or indirectly. Skin contact, bodily fluids, towels, diapers, and toys are examples of how the bacteria can be transmitted. Some people are called MRSA carriers because although they have MRSA on their body, they do not show any symptoms of infection. People who are most likely to get MRSA infection are those who play contact sports, sharing towels/personal items, have weak immune system, live in unsanitary/crowded living conditions (dorms, barracks), works as a health care provider, and young/old age. Still, the best way to avoid MRSA infection is to practice excellent personal hygiene by hand washing with soap or using hand sanitizers after personal contact or toilet use.

– Is it possible for a person to get infected with MRSA by playing contact sports such as wrestling and/or by sharing towels?


Urry, Lisa A.. Campbell Biology. Pearson Education. Kindle Edition.