Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus starts out as a small lesion on the skin that looks like a spider bite or a pimple, according to the Mayo Clinic. The lesions rapidly evolve into painful abscesses that require surgical drainage. The infection can spread beyond the skin to joints, surgical wounds, heart valves and the blood stream.Continue Reading
MRSA is caused by a common bacterium that has become resistant to antibiotics. A small percentage of the population carries MRSA, according to WebMD, and it is often acquired in hospitals or nursing homes. The infection can be found in sites associated with invasive procedures such as surgical wounds, catheters and feeding tubes. A weak immune system is often involved. However, MRSA is also prevalent in the community among healthy individuals. Community-associated MRSA is often found among military personnel, athletes, inmates or others that share close quarters. CA-MRSA is consistently seen in younger populations.
Diagnosis is made based on a culture of the infected skin lesion, according to WebMD. If systemic symptoms are present, tests are done on blood, sputum or urine samples. Treatment is based on the invasiveness of the infection and its resistance to certain antibiotics. Infections confined to the skin can be incised and drained, while others require antibiotics. Sensitivity tests will determine which antibiotic is used.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases