Bacteria Home > MRSA Bacteria Information

MRSA is one of the strains of Staphylococcus aureus (bacteria that commonly cause "staph" infections). What makes MRSA different from other strains is its resistance to treatment with the antibiotic methicillin -- MRSA is actually an acronym that stands for "methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus."
 
Methicillin is an antibiotic that was once commonly used to treat infections. Due to the use of methicillin over the last several decades (including misuse and overuse), certain staph microbes have evolved to develop a resistance to the drug. MRSA bacteria are resistant to this antibiotic, as well as similar antibiotics. In fact, new strains have recently emerged in the community that are capable of causing severe infections in otherwise healthy individuals.
 
(For more information on MRSA bacteria, click MRSA Causes. This article takes an in-depth look at the history of staph infections, including why MRSA is now considered a serious public health concern.)
 
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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