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MRSA Causes and Symptoms

MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus is caused by the bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus which is often referred to as staph. It is that strain of staph which is resistant to antibiotics that are used to treat it. MRSA infection can be fatal, hence it needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Most of the MRSA infections occur in hospitals or health care centers such as clinics or nursing homes or dialysis centers. Such infections are called health care associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). Elderly individuals or people with weak immune system are at risk towards developing HA-MRSA.

However MRSA infection can also occur in healthy individuals or in those who are not hospitalized. This is called as Community based MRSA. Such type of infection can cause skin or soft tissue infection and even severe forms of pneumonia.

Causes of MRSA

Since this infection occurs by resistance to antibiotics, it is caused by infection of the staph and resistance to antibiotics.

  1. Staph infection: Staph bacteria are normally present on the skin or on the nose. Even with presence of the bacteria, you are not infected which means that you are colonized. You can be healthy even if the bacteria just remain on the surface. However if it enters into the body through cuts or abrasions, it can be harmful. People who are hospitalized where they come in contact with many individuals, people who share their personal items or health workers are at risk at developing this infection.
  2. Antibiotic resistance: The leading causes of antibiotic resistance are:


  • Excessive and unnecessary consumption of antibiotics: MRSA is a result of unnecessary consumption of antibiotics. There are various drugs for cold, flu, fever or simple bacterial infection. However these drugs do not work effectively against these infections or the bacteria can be cleared easily on their own.
  • Presence of antibiotics in food and water: Antibiotics may be present in livestock that can enter into the municipal water systems and ground water
  • Mutation of the germ: Certain antibiotics may not attack each and every bacteria in the body. Hence the germ that remains, increases in number in such good amounts that it can resist against the antibiotic.

Symptoms of MRSA

One in three individuals can be colonized with MRSA. People who are colonized may not develop infection and can remain healthy. However if the bacteria enters into the body, it can cause infection. Some of the symptoms of the infection are:

  • Boils (infected pus filled hair follicles)
  • Abscesses (collection of pus under the pockets of the skin)
  • Styes (infection of the eyelids)
  • Carbuncles (Several openings on the skin, infection larger than abscess)
  • Cellulitis (infection of the skin, fat and the tissue beneath it)
  • Impetigo (Infection of the skin with pus filled blisters)

Hence any minor skin problems like cuts, burns or wounds should be noticed. Contact the doctor immediately if the wound becomes infected.

If the bacteria enter the blood stream then it can be dangerous. The following MRSA symptoms are:

  • Blood poisoning (septicemia)
  • Blood infection leading to fall in blood pressure and organ failure (septic shock)
  • Internal abscess formed anywhere inside the body.
  • Bone marrow infection
  • Severe joint problems
  • Infection of the tissue surrounding the brain and the spinal cord (meningitis)
  • Lung infection (pneumonia)

These bacteria can also cause scalded skin syndrome and toxic shock syndrome.

This infection needs to be taken care of safely and effectively. Even if the person is a carrier of MRSA infections, he is not completely healthy. Strengthening of the immune system is necessary. This can be done by having a proper diet so that our body remains healthy. Oregano oil contains a component called carvacrol that is an effective MRSA cure against the infection. For boils and abscesses, apply honey on the affected area and leave it for 30 minutes and rinse it with warm water. This infection needs constant supervision by the doctor, hence doctoral advice is a must.

Submitted on January 16, 2014