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Staphylococcus aureus

 
 
Staphylococcus aureus_Copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
 
Staphylococcus aureus, often referred to simply as "staph," is a bacterium commonly found on the skin of healthy people. Occasionally, staph can get into the body and cause infections. The infection can be minor (such as pimples and other skin conditions) or serious (such as blood infections, pneumonia, internal organ abscess formation, soft tissue or bone infections, and infections on prosthetic devices (artificial joints, heart valves).
 
Methicillin is an antibiotic commonly used to treat staphylococcal infections. Although methicillin is very effective in treating most staph infections, some staph strains have developed resistance to methicillin and can no longer be killed by this antibiotic. These resistant bacteria are thus called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. MRSA infection usually develops in hospital patients who are elderly or very sick or who have an open wound.

Healthy people rarely get MRSA. Usually, Non-MRSA infections are treated with third generation cephalosporins, whereas for MRSA infections, vancomycin is currently the treatment of choice. The emergence of even vancomycin-resistant MRSA is one of the major challenges in hospital acquired infections and therefore the key drivers for discovery of next generation drugs.

 
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