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Clinical Trials  |  Add a link  |  Regulations  |  Discussion Board  |  Ask the Nurse | Last Update January 1st. 2009  |  About FDA.COM  | Media Kit

Also called: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It causes an infection that is resistant to several common antibiotics. There are two types of infection. Hospital-associated MRSA happens to people in healthcare settings. Community-associated MRSA happens to people who have close skin-to-skin contact with others, such as athletes involved in football and wrestling.

Infection control is key to stopping MRSA in hospitals. To prevent community-associated MRSA

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed
  • Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages
  • Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, washcloths, razors, or clothes
  • Wash soiled sheets, towels and clothes in hot water with bleach and dry in a hot dryer

If a wound appears to be infected, see a healthcare provider. Treatment may include draining the infection and antibiotics.

What is MRSA?

MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other infections. As with all regular staph infections, recognizing the signs and receiving treatment for MRSA skin infections in the early stages reduces the chances of the infection becoming severe. MRSA is spread by:

  • Having direct contact with another person’s infection
  • Sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin
  • Touching surfaces or items, such as used bandages, contaminated with MRSA
What are the signs and symptoms
of MRSA skin infections?

Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever
boy with a bandage covering a wound

What if I suspect an MRSA skin infection?

Cover the area with a bandage and contact your healthcare professional. It is especially important to contact your healthcare professional if signs and symptoms of an MRSA skin infection are accompanied by a fever.

How are MRSA skin infections treated?

Treatment for MRSA skin infections may include having a healthcare professional drain the infection and, in some cases, prescribe an antibiotic. Do not attempt to drain the infection yourself – doing so could worsen or spread it to others. If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all of the doses (even if the infection is getting better), unless your healthcare professional tells you to stop taking it.

How can I protect my family from MRSA skin infections?

  • Know the signs of MRSA and get it treated early
  • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered
  • Encourage good hygiene such as cleaning hands regularly
  • Discourage sharing of personal items such as towels and razors

Information for Healthcare Professionals

When a patient has a skin infection, it may very likely be MRSA.

Recent data suggest that MRSA in the community is increasing. The spectrum of disease caused by MRSA appears to be similar to that of Staphylococcus aureus in the community. Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), specifically furuncles (abscessed hair follicles or “boils”), carbuncles (coalesced masses of furuncles), and abscesses, are the most frequently reported clinical manifestations. The role of MRSA in cellulitis without abscess or purulent drainage is less clear since cultures are rarely obtained.

When to Consider MRSA

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages you to consider MRSA in the differential diagnosis of SSTIs compatible with S. aureus infections, especially those that are purulent (fluctuant or palpable fluid-filled cavity, yellow or white center, central point or “head,” draining pus, or possible to aspirate pus with needle or syringe). A patient’s presenting complaint of “spider bite” should raise suspicion of a S. aureus infection.

Primary Treatment Options for MRSA Skin Infections

Incision and drainage constitutes the primary therapy for these purulent skin infections. Empiric antimicrobial coverage for MRSA may be warranted in addition to incision and drainage based on clinical assessment (e.g., presence of systemic symptoms, severe local symptoms, immune suppression, extremes of patient age, infections in a difficult to drain area, or lack of response to incision and drainage alone). For severe infections, consider consulting with an infectious disease specialist. Obtaining specimens for culture and susceptibility testing is useful to guide therapy, particularly for those who fail to respond adequately to initial management.

MRSA skin infections can develop into more serious infections. It is important to discuss a follow-up plan with your patients in case they develop systemic symptoms or worsening local symptoms, or if symptoms do not improve within 48 hours.

What is MRSA?

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an antimicrobial-resistant type of S. aureus that is resistant to currently available beta-lactam antibiotics including penicillins (e.g., penicillin, amoxicillin), “anti-staphylococcal” penicillins (e.g., methicillin, oxacillin), and cephalosporins (e.g., cephalexin).

Educate Patients to Prevent Spread

Patient education is a critical component of MRSA case management. Healthcare professionals should educate patients, caretakers and, when possible, household members on methods to avoid MRSA transmission to close contacts.

MRSA is typically spread by:

  • Having direct contact with another person’s infection
  • Sharing personal items, such as towels or razors, that have touched infected skin
  • Touching surfaces or items such as used bandages contaminated with MRSA

Reference Links - Add a link

Clinical Trials - Add a clinical trial

1 Recruiting Prospective Study of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Among HIV-Infected Persons
Conditions: HIV Infections;   Staphylococcal Infections
Interventions: Drug: Mupirocin (Bactroban) 2%; hexachlorophene (pHisoHex) 3%;   Other: Placebo
2 Not yet recruiting The Underlying Mechanisms For S. Aureus Infection And Colonization Of Skin in People With Atopic Dermatitis With And Without Eczema Herpeticum (MRSA)
Conditions: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus;   Atopic Dermatitis;   Eczema Herpeticum;   MRSA
3 Recruiting Community-Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Colonization in Pregnant Women and Infections in Newborns
Condition: Staphylococcus Aureus
Intervention: Other: CA-MRSA Decolonization
4 Recruiting A Randomized Clinical Trial to Prevent Recurrent CA-MRSA Infection
Condition: Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Skin Infections
Interventions: Drug: mupirocin and chlorhexidine;   Behavioral: household cleaning and disinfection;   Drug: mupirocin, chlorhexidine, & household cleaning/disinfection
5 Not yet recruiting MRSA Colonization and Control in the Dallas County Jail
Conditions: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus;   Skin Diseases, Infectious;   Soft Tissue Infections
Interventions: Other: Chlorhexidine;   Other: Water
6 Recruiting Clinical Trial on the Reduction of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Conditions: Skin Ulcers;   Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection
Intervention: Drug: Nitric Oxide
7 Recruiting Randomized Clinical Trial to Compare a Regimen of Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole Plus Rifampicin With a Regimen of Linezolid in the Treatment of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Infection
Condition: MRSA Infection
Interventions: Drug: trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMX);   Drug: Linezolid;   Drug: Rifampicin
8 Recruiting What is the Prevalence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus in Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Presenting to the Emergency Departments of a Canadian Academic Health Care Center?
Conditions: Bacterial Infections;   Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections;   Staphylococcal Infections
9 Not yet recruiting An Evaluation Of Respiratory Samples for Staphylococcus Resistance PatternsS
Condition: MRSA Pneumonia
Intervention: Other: etest susceptability testing
10 Recruiting Cost-Effectiveness Study Comparing Chlorhexidine Bathing With Active Surveillance Cultures to Prevent MRSA & Other Hospital Infections
Condition: Staphylococcal Infections
Interventions: Other: Nasal swabs for MRSA culture;   Drug: Chlorhexidine gluconate
11 Not yet recruiting Hospital Acquired and Community Acquired MRSA in GI Lab
Conditions: Hospital Acquired MRSA;   Community Acquired MRSA
12 Recruiting Nosocomial Pneumonia With Suspected or Proven Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
Condition: Pneumonia, Staphylococcal
Interventions: Drug: linezolid;   Drug: vancomycin
13 Recruiting Comparison of Decolonization of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Using Theraworx
Condition: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
Interventions: Other: Theraworx;   Drug: mupirocin antibiotic ointment
14 Recruiting Vancomycin Or Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Osteomyelitis (VOTSMO)
Conditions: Osteomyelitis;   Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
Interventions: Drug: trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole;   Drug: vancomycin
15 Recruiting Vancomycin Vs. Vancomycin Plus Gentamycin in Treatment of MRSA Infection
Condition: Staphylococcus Aureus
Interventions: Drug: Vancomycin;   Drug: Vancomycin plus Gentamicin;   Drug: Vancomycin plus Rifampin;   Drug: Vancomycin plus Gentamicin plus Rifampin
16 Recruiting Multicenter Trial of Daily Chlorhexidine Bathing to Reduce Nosocomial Infections
Conditions: Nosocomial Bacteremia;   MRSA Colonization;   MRSA Infection;   VRE Colonization;   VRE Infection
Intervention: Procedure: Bathing with Chlorhexidine Impregnated Washcloths
17 Recruiting The Efficacy of SinoFresh Nasal and Sinus Care Nasal Spray in Eliminating MRSA From the Nasal Cavity
Condition: MRSA Infection
Interventions: Drug: Sinofresh;   Drug: Placebo
18 Recruiting Cotrimoxazole Versus Vancomycin for Invasive Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infections
Conditions: Staphylococcal Infections;   Meningitis;   Sepsis;   Pneumonia
Interventions: Drug: Cotrimoxazole;   Drug: Vancomycin
19 Recruiting Comparison of Cephalexin Versus Clindamycin for Empiric Treatment of Suspected CA-MRSA Skin Infections
Conditions: Staphylococcal Infection;   Abscess;   Staphylococcal Skin Infection;   Folliculitis
Interventions: Drug: clindamycin;   Drug: cephalexin
20 Recruiting Reduction of Bacteria in MRSA Positive Ulcers
Conditions: Leg Ulcer;   Pressure Ulcer
Intervention: Drug: Nitric Oxide

21 Recruiting Phase 2 Study of Safety, Efficacy, and PK of Higher Doses of Daptomycin and Vancomycin in MRSA Bacteremia
Conditions: Endocarditis, Bacterial;   Infective Endocarditis
Interventions: Drug: Daptomycin;   Drug: Vancomycin
22 Not yet recruiting Strategies Using Off-Patent Antibiotics for Methicillin Resistant S. Aureus "STOP MRSA"
Condition: Methicillin-Resistant S.Aureus
Interventions: Drug: Cephalexin;   Drug: Clindamycin;   Drug: Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TS);   Drug: Placebo
23 Recruiting Trial of Septra for Uncomplicated Skin Abscesses in Patients at Risk for Community Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection
Conditions: Abscess;   Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Infection
Interventions: Drug: Septra DS;   Drug: placebo
24 Recruiting Prevention of Gastrostomy-Related Wound Infection by Vancomycin in Carriers of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
Condition: Wound Infection
Intervention: Drug: Vancomycin
25 Recruiting The Natural History of Community-Associated MRSA Infections and Decolonization Strategies
Conditions: Abscesses;   Furunculosis;   Staphylococcus Aureus;   Staphylococcal Skin Infections
Interventions: Drug: Mupirocin ointment;   Procedure: Chlorhexidine showers;   Procedure: Bleach baths (dilute);   Behavioral: Intensive education on personal hygiene
26 Not yet recruiting Relationship of Staphylococcal Colonization to Infection
Condition: MRSA Infection
27 Recruiting A Study of MK3009 in Japanese Patients With Skin or Blood Stream Infections Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
Condition: Staphylococcal Infection
Interventions: Drug: daptomycin;   Drug: Comparator: vancomycin
28 Recruiting Safety and Efficacy of Daptomycin for the Treatment of Complicated Skin and Skin-Structure Infections
Condition: Staphylococcal Skin Infections
Intervention: Drug: Daptomycin
29 Not yet recruiting Uncomplicated Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Caused by Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
Condition: Methicillin-Resistant S.Aureus
Interventions: Drug: Clindamycin;   Drug: Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (TS);   Drug: Placebo
30 Not yet recruiting Mastering Hospital Antimicrobial Resistance and Its Spread Into the Community
Conditions: ESBL Infection;   Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus
31 Recruiting Hospital Design and Risk of Nosocomial Infections: A Prospective Controlled Trial
Conditions: Hospital-Acquired Infection With Clostridium Difficile;   Hospital-Acquired VRE Infection or Colonization;   Hospital-Acquired MRSA Infection or Colonization
Intervention: Other: Admission to a novel hospital ward
32 Recruiting Chart Review of Outcome of Treatment for S. Aureus Bacteremia
Condition: Staphylococcus Aureus
33 Recruiting Study of New Antibiotic Regimen for the Treatment of Uncomplicated Cellulitis in Emergency Department Patients
Condition: Cellulitis
Interventions: Drug: Cephalexin + Trimethoprime Sulfamethoxazole;   Drug: Cephalexin/Dicloxacillin + Placebo
34 Recruiting Study of Daptomycin in Subjects Undergoing Surgery for Osteomyelitis Associated With an Infected Prosthetic Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and/or Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci
Condition: Osteomyelitis
Interventions: Drug: daptomycin;   Drug: daptomycin;   Drug: vancomycin;   Drug: teicoplanin;   Drug: nafcillin;   Drug: oxacillin;   Drug: flucloxacillin
35 Recruiting Emergency Bedside Ultrasound for Pediatric Soft Tissue Infections
Condition: Abscess
Intervention: Device: Bedside emergency ultrasound
36 Not yet recruiting Mastering Hospital Antimicrobial Resistance and Its Spread Into the Community-Healthcare Workers
Conditions: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus;   ESBL
37 Not yet recruiting Kerlix Gauze Study in a Burn Trauma Unit and Its Effect on Healthcare Associated Infections in Burn Patients
Conditions: Burns;   Wounds
Intervention: Other: Kerlix AMD gauze
38 Recruiting The Impact of Treating Staphylococcus Aureus Infection and Colonization on the Clinical Severity of Atopic Dermatitis
Condition: Atopic Dermatitis
Interventions: Drug: Sodium hypochlorite baths;   Drug: Mupirocin ointment;   Drug: Cephalexin;   Drug: Water;   Drug: Petrolatum Ointment
39 Recruiting Pharmacokinetics of Linezolid in Children With Cystic Fibrosis
Condition: Cystic Fibrosis
Intervention: Drug: Linezolid
40 Recruiting Phase 4 Efficacy and Safety Study of Cubicin® With and Without Combination Therapy in S. Aureus Infective Endocarditis
Condition: Infective Endocarditis
Interventions: Drug: daptomycin;   Drug: daptomycin and gentamicin
41 Not yet recruiting Bioburden Reduction of Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Condition: Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Intervention: Device: Noveon laser
42 Recruiting A Trial to Evaluate the Loading Dose Required to Achieve Therapeutic Serum Teicoplanin Concentration Timely
Condition: Staphylococcal Infections
Intervention: Drug: teicoplanin
43 Not yet recruiting Placebo Controlled Trial of Sodium Selenite and Procalcitonin Guided Antimicrobial Therapy in Severe Sepsis
Conditions: Severe Sepsis;   Septic Shock
Interventions: Drug: sodium-selenite;   Drug: Placebo;   Procedure: Procalcitonin guided therapy
44 Not yet recruiting Mastering Hospital Antimicrobial Resistance and Its Spread Into the Community
Condition: Bacterial Infection
45 Not yet recruiting Clinical Trial to Investigate Treatment With Photodynamic Therapy to Reduce Levels of Bacteria in Leg Ulcers
Conditions: Chronic Venous Leg Ulcers;   Wound Healing
Interventions: Drug: Topical PPA904 gel and light;   Drug: Topical placebo gel plus light
46 Recruiting Staphylococcus Aureus Carrier Status in Breastfeeding Mothers and Infants and the Risk of Lactation Mastitis
Conditions: Mastitis;   Staphylococcus Aureus;   Staphylococcal Infections
47 Not yet recruiting The Effects of Linezolid and Vancomycin on Inflammation and Cellular Signaling Vents
Condition: Sepsis
Intervention: Drug: Linezolid or Vancomycin