Mrsa, Community Acquired

Mrsa, Community Acquired is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has historically been a pathogen endemic within healthcare settings, usually affecting the elderly and chronically ill. This strain of S. aureus has been termed “healthcare-associated MRSA” (HA-MRSA).
  • Throughout the past decade, MRSA has become an increasingly common pathogen among younger, healthier populations who do not have a healthcare-related exposure history. This type of MRSA pathogen has been termed “community-acquired MRSA” (CA-MRSA).
  • CA-MRSA is the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections seen in the ED
  • While CA-MRSA may cause skin and soft tissue infection, it may also lead to severe multisystem disease, including sepsis and necrotizing pneumonia

Geriatric Considerations
HA-MRSA (see below) is a different genotypic form of MRSA that frequently causes morbidity among the elderly, especially those living within extended-care facilities or those with healthcare-related exposures.


  • S. aureus is a gram-positive cocci frequently colonizing the skin
  • MRSA refers to a specific strain of S. aureus that has resistance against the antimicrobial properties of numerous antibiotics, including methicillin
  • Prisoners, athletes, soldiers, children in daycare, IV drug users, and those with prior treatment for MRSA or exposure to MRSA are at highest risk for colonization and subsequent infection.

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