Relevant BNF section: BNF 188.8.131.52
Around a quarter of healthy people are asymptomatic carriers of Staphylococcus aureus, which colonises the skin and nasopharynx.1 However, this organism is also the major bacterial cause of skin, soft tissue and bone infections, and healthcare-associated bacteraemia,1 with problems ranging from superficial skin conditions to severe, sometimes fatal, systemic disease.1–3 Serious S. aureus infections can be caused by strains of the organism that are meticillin-susceptible (MSSA) or meticillin-resistant (MRSA).4 ‘Healthcare-associated’ MRSA (HA-MRSA) emerged in the 1960s as a cause of infection in hospital or other healthcare settings, or in the community after hospital discharge.1,5 More recently, ‘community-associated’ MRSA (CA-MRSA) has been described; patients infected with this type of organism typically have no history of hospitalisation or residence in long-term care.1 CA-MRSA infection is important because it can cause life-threatening illnesses (e.g. haemorrhagic necrotising pneumonia).1 Here we discuss the management of patients with such infection.
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