What is MRSA?
MRSA is a type of Staph bacteria that can cause very serious bacterial infections. MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. MRSA is caused by Staphylococcus aureus or "Staph," that has acquired an immunity or resistance to the penicillin type of antibiotics and other currently used antibiotics. There is no MRSA virus and therefore no MRSA vaccination as some have suggested. MRSA is strictly a bacterial infection.
What is MRSA and how did it get started? Antibiotics have been used only since the 1940's to stop the growth of bacteria. Unfortunately, the more antibiotics are used, and abused, the quicker bacteria learn to overcome the antibiotic and become resistant to it. Each year more types of bacteria adapt and become resistant to antibiotics.
With MRSA being so resistant to many of the best antibiotics, it makes treatment of skin infections and invasive internal infections much more problematic, resulting in many yearly deaths. In fact, MRSA statistics show that more people die each year from MRSA infections than the AIDS virus. This nasty bacteria is also responsible for the "flesh-eating" disease you've likely heard of.
The question "What is MRSA" is one that is often asked by many as it is known by many different names. MRSA (pronounced "Mursa") is also referred to as a Mercer Staph infection, MERSA Staph infection, or as MRSA Staff infection. These all refer to the same thing: MRSA. MRSA is much more resistant to the following antibiotics:
· Methicillin, Oxacillin, Penicillin, and Amoxicillin - these are all in the penicillin antibiotic family
· Cephalosporins - these antibiotics are an another class of Penicillin-like antibiotics
· Vancomycin - some strains of MRSA (VISA and VRSA) are now becoming resistant to Vancomycin, one of the best last resort antibiotics. Vancomycin has traditionally been used for serious and life-threatening infections that are not responsive to more common antibiotics.
Unfortunately, MRSA is constantly becoming more resistant to more antibiotics, and it may be a matter of time before antibiotics can no longer can be relied upon.