What is MRSA?
MRSA is an acronym for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that has developed resistance to penicillin. In fact the methicillin is a narrow-spectrum beta-lactam antibiotic that was used for a long time to treat infections caused by the Staphylococcus aureus. The name is still used to describe the resilient Staphylococcus aureus, although the methicillin is no longer the treatment.
The most vulnerable people to MRSA are diabetics, people suffering of AIDS, cancer and other diseases that hurt the immune system, but also drug users. Equally exposed to the MRSA are the prison inmates and hospital patience, who are not paying extra attention to hygiene practices. Not even athletes are safe from it, because the gyms and locker rooms present the right conditions for the Staphylococcus aureus to spread.
Due to its resistance to penicillin and its derivatives, it is very important to focus on prevention rather than treatment. Hand washing is a common sense rule, but it is the first line of defense against this bacteria. MRSA can survive on various surfaces and fabrics, but using alcohol as a surface sanitizer works very well.
Usually, the first signs of MRSA are skin infections accompanied by fever and occasionally rashes, but also bone or joint infections. In order to determine without a doubt if a patient is suffering of MRSA, a bacterial culture must be performed on the infected wound.
When infected with MRSA, you have to resort to treatments revolving around vancomycin and teicoplanin, the most widely used drugs. There are even more severe cases, when the Staphylococcus aureus develops resistance to these drugs, and stronger ones must be administered intravenously. There are a couple of ongoing clinical trials, which show some promising results, so there is a good chance that in a not so distant future we’ll have more effective treatments against this disease.
What is MRSA?