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What is the standard treatment for invasive staph infections?

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Vancomycin is the standard treatment for invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, infections, according to a 2007 article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Other treatment options, as of 2007, include linezolid, daptomycin, tigecycline and quinupristin/dalfopristin.

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Invasive staphylococcus infections began to show resistance to vancomycin, a glycopeptide in use for approximately 50 years, explains a 2008 article in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Invasive staphylococci have also been showing resistance to linezolid, although this is rare, and to daptomycin, which is additionally ineffective against pneumonia. Dalbavancin is a new glycopeptide, clinically proven effective and safe, as of 2008, in skin, soft-tissue and bloodstream infections. Invasive staphylococcus infections usually require treatment in the hospital, through intravenous injections.

Not every instance of staphylococcus is invasive. Non-invasive staphylococcus infections, such as on the skin, do not require antibiotic treatment, informs Mayo Clinic. If appropriate, a doctor may choose instead to use surgery to drain an invasive staphylococcal skin infection that has abscessed.

Staphylococcus is common; approximately one out of every three people carries some strain of the bacteria, say the NHS and Mayo Clinic. A smaller segment of the population experiences the invasive, resistant strain. Generally, these are people who are immune-deficient; use medical equipment, such as catheters; or are in a hospital or nursing home setting.

Practicing good hand-washing hygiene, such as using soap and rubbing the hands under warm water for 15 seconds, cleaning and covering cuts, and not sharing towels, bed linens or razors may prevent staphylococcal infections. Staphylococcal infections may also arise from food -- usually meat -- infected with the bacteria. Safe food handling techniques, such as thoroughly cooking meat and keeping cold foods refrigerated, aid in preventing food poisoning from staphylococcal bacteria.

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