Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) (S. aureus)
Over the past number of years, many bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics in the U.S. Penicillin, oxacillin and amoxicillin for example have become ineffective against many pathogens. Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is highly known for its resistance to antibiotics. MRSA, staph bacteria are more commonly known as skin infections and are potentially fatal depending on the severity. MRSA also has been known to cause pneumonia, toxic shock syndrome (TSS) and food and blood poisoning (Bolton). Symptoms of MRSA appear on parts of the body such as the neck, groin and underarm areas. They are very painful boil-like pustules and are caused from contact to an infected person or by sharing personal hygiene items. Penicillin, introduced to doctors in the 1940’s served as a temporary fix to the bacteria before resistant strains appeared. As more antibiotics were founded S. aureus found itself resistant to them as well; Methicillin being yet another. There are two types of MRSA, 1 of which is hospital related and the other is community related. Approximately 85% of all MRSA cases occur within a hospital setting. MRSA is not prejudice to its host. It can and will infect anyone from child to the elderly and from those in the health care field to athletes.
In an effort to understand MRSA more deeply a group of scientists collected samples from infected individuals from across the world and sequenced the bacteria’s genome. Their finding indicated that no two individuals developed the same type of infection and that none of the bacteria were identical. This group of scientist found that mutation of the MRSA strain collected a singular letter change in the DNA sequence approximately every 6 weeks.
As MRSA can be spread from objects to open wounds and even through ones nasal passages; it is important to practice adopt good hygiene habits by disinfecting areas, wash your hands frequently and keep any open sores covered with bandages to prevent contracting the bacteria.
(Mary Pat Bolton)
(The PEW Charitable Trusts Human Health and Industry)
CDC. (n.d.). MRSA Infections. Retrieved 4 30, 2011, from Centers for Disease control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/symptoms/index.html
Mary Pat Bolton, M. (n.d.). What is Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Retrieved 4 30, 2011, from Biology Teacher Resources from Baylor College of Medicine: http://www.bioedonline.org/slides/slide01.cfm?tk=53&dpg=2
Powell, D. (2010, 1 21). Tracking MRSA evolution and transmission. Retrieved 4 30, 2011, from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/wtsi-tme011510.php
The PEW Charitable Trusts Human Health and Industry. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 30, 2011, from The Cause of Antibiotic Resistance: http://www.saveantibiotics.org/ourwork.html#causes