Pathophysiology: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It is also called oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Healthy individuals may carry MRSA asymptomatically for periods ranging from a few weeks to many years. Patients with compromised immune systems are at a significantly greater risk of symptomatic secondary infection.
Statistics: A total of 3620 cases of MRSA were found. Around one-third of the cases were imported one-third acquired in the Norwegian healthcare system and one-third acquired in the community. Twelve percent of the cases were linked to known outbreaks. The total incidence of infected and colonized patients is slowly increasing. The numbers of severe infections remain stable at around 20 cases annually and the proportion of MRSA cases associated with healthcare has decreased.
Treatment: Treatment of MRSA frequently involves the use of vancomycin, often in combination with other antibiotics given by IV. CA-MRSA can often be treated on an outpatient basis with specific oral or topical antibiotics, but some serious CA-MRSA infections (for example, pneumonia) often require appropriate antibiotics by IV.
Major Research: Research suggests that certain probiotic strains may help reduce susceptibility to active infection with MRSA. Reduced diversity and strength of the gut microflora leaves us vulnerable to opportunistic infections while Lactobacillus species such as paracasei and L. acidophilus as well as Bifidobacteria animalis subsp lactis have been seen to offer a degree of protection against MRSA.