MRSA (sometimes referred to as the 'superbug') stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a
bacterium from the Staphylococcus aureus family.
Staphylococcus aureus (SA) is a type of
bacteria. About 1 in 3 of us carries it on the surface of our skin or in our nose without developing an infection - this is known as being 'colonized' by the
However, if SA
bacteria get into the body through a break in the skin they can cause infection. SA is a very common cause of boils, impetigo and
abscesses. Less commonly, SA
bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause more serious infections like septicemia (
blood poisoning) and
heart -valve infection (endocarditis).
bacteria are resistant to some of the
antibiotics that are commonly used to treat infection, including methicillin (a type of penicillin originally created to treat SA infections).
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