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MRSA Infection

What is an MRSA Infection?

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Patients with MRSA are infected with a strain of Staph aureus bacteria resistant to antibiotics known as beta-lactams, such as methicillin, amoxicillin, and penicillin. MRSA has two classifications: Community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) and Hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA).

Diagnosis

Your doctor may recommend the following tests:

  • A skin biopsy and culture from the infected site
  • Culture of the drainage (fluid) from the infection, to see which organism grows in it
  • Blood culture

Treatment

For a local skin MRSA infection, draining the abscess at the doctor's office is usually the only treatment needed. Few antibiotics are available to treat more serious MRSA infections. These include vancomycin (Vancocin, Vancoled), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS), and linezolid (Zyvox).

It is important to finish all doses of antibiotics you have been given, even if you feel better before the final dose. Unfinished doses can lead to development of drug resistance in the bacteria.

MRSA Treatment at Hopkins Children’s

MRSA infections are treated in our Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases