MRSA is a type of staph infection that can be acquired in Hospital (HA), Community (CA) or Animals (ZO). It is also known as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus and referred to as a superbug. There are many types of MRSA because the bacteria is highly adaptable so many strains developed.
Identifying the strain of bacteria will determine the type of antibiotic treatment that will be used to treat it. Some types have human origins, while others have animal origins. None of the MRSA risk factors listed should cause alarm or interfere with normal daily activities, there is no need to panic, just become informed and aware.
The type of MRSA that is acquired in the community is becoming more common and creating concern because of the increasing number of cases being reported. Though a person with risk factors (compromised immune system, open wounds, etc.) has a higher risk of becoming infected with this type of infection, those with no risk factors are often becoming infected with it too. Different antibiotics are effective on this type. A person infected with Community Acquired (CA) is more likely to have a severe skin infection, soft-tissue infection, and narcotizing pneumonia. Some of the areas that this infection occur include the following:
- Athletic facilities
- Day Care
- Nursing homes
- Military barracks
Other ways that people are infected with CA-MRSA is by sharing equipment and participating in activities that include skin-to-skin contact.
Hospital acquired MRSA is a type of infection that can occur on the skin, but also at incision sites and internally. The infection may be acquired during surgery or procedures where instruments come in contact with this infection, aren’t properly sterilized, and then used on another patient. Medical personal and their assistants performing surgery or other procedures, can spread HA-MRSA. Patients in a hospital are more at risk for infections because their immune system is usually compromised from the illness or injury that caused them to be hospitalized. Having a catheter is another MRSA infection risk factor. HA-MRSA patients are more likely to have the following types of infections:
- Surgical wound site
- Urinary tract
- Blood stream
Medical personnel are expected to follow infection control procedures that include washing hands, proper wound care, and proper catheter care. This prevents the spread of infections from one patient to another or to shared surfaces.
With the wide spread use of antibiotics in animals, there is an increase in MRSA in livestock because this practice is common among many farmers. Humans can become infected with this type. A MRSA DNA test (PCR) is done to determine the exact type that is causing the infection. This not only helps with choosing the most effective antibiotic to use for treatment, but it also is helpful when tracing the origins of the bacteria to determine if the origin was human or animal. The newest (2011) strain has its origins in Ireland and appears to originate from animals.
No matter what type of MRSA that is causing an infection, a medical professional must treat it. The sooner the treatment begins; the better chances if treatment being successful.