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Mercer Staph Infection

Mercer Staph Infection

Mercer staph infection, also known as MSRA infection, is caused by a bacterium which is resistant to many antibiotics. Learn more about it in the following article.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
The medical terms Mercer staph infection, MSRA infection, and Staph Superbug, all refer to the same infection. This medical condition is caused by methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MSRA), a bug resistant to most of the antibiotics. The staph infection is a very serious condition that can have life-threatening complications. One should be aware of all the symptoms and treatment, that will help detect and cure a possible infection quickly.
About the Infection
The staphylococcus aureus bacteria is resistant to most of the penicillin type antibiotics, as well as other antibiotics commonly used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. The MRSA staph infection came into existence after the use of antibiotics began in 1940s. More and more infections were treated with antibiotics, and the organism was quick to undergo mutation. This mutation helped the bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics that killed it. Thus, many of the most effective antibiotics soon became obsolete in treatment of bacterial infections caused by MSRA. Studies have shown that there are more deaths attributed to this bug, as compared to the deadly AIDS virus.
It is resistant to the following antibiotics:
  • Methicillin, Oxacillin, Penicillin, Amoxicillin
  • Cephalosporin
  • Vancomycin
More and more MRSA bacteria are growing resistant towards a broader spectrum of antibiotics. It is predicted that in the near future, one will not be able to treat bacterial infections with antibiotics alone.
Types of Mercer Staph Infection
MSRA was supposed to infect patients with a weakened immune system, or elderly patients. Gradually, it was found that a new type of MRSA bug has begun to infect healthy individuals. This led to creation of classification that is explained below.
Hospital Acquired MRSA Infection: It is proven that 85% of all Mercer infections occur in hospitalized patients. These patients are either elderly people, or those whose immune system is compromised. The infection that occurs in a healthcare setup or hospital is called HA-MRSA infection.
Community Acquired MRSA Infection: This is the new type that infects healthy adults as well as children. It often spreads in places of direct skin-to-skin contact like schools, locker rooms, gyms, etc. The organism infects the soft tissues, and causes skin infections as well as severe pneumonia. The CA-MRSA infection is resistant to most of the antibiotics, leading to high incidence of death among those infected.
Symptoms
The Mercer infection symptoms are similar to those of other staphylococcus infections.
  • The first symptoms include small, red-colored, and warm-to-touch lumps or bumps on the skin. These small bumps are similar to a pimple or spider bite. They form abscess that needs to be drained by a physician. This symptom should be spotted at the earliest, and prompt treatment should be sought. This is because, if the infection spreads from the skin to the bloodstream, wounds in the body, bones, joints, heart, lungs, and other internal organs, it could prove to be fatal.
  • Patients who have surgical wounds may experience severe pain and swelling around the wounds.
  • One may spot furuncles or carbuncles around the hair follicles.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit, groin, and neck may also be seen.
  • As the infection spreads, one may suffer from chills, acute nausea, and acute pain in bones, joints, and muscles.
  • Other symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and malaise.
  • In some patients, severe headaches and fatigue is seen.
Most of the symptoms appear at different points of spread, within a day or up to 10 days of an infection.
Treatment
The treatment depends on different factors. The severity of infection, other existing medical conditions, and the age of the patient, are taken into consideration. Along with these factors, the test results that show which antibiotics have the greatest effect on the organism, also help in deciding the treatment.
  • The mild or moderate MSRA infection treatment includes draining the abscess from the pimples formed. This helps in healing the infected tissue quickly. The antibiotics prescribed for mild to moderate skin infection include sulfamethoxazole, minocycline, tetracycline, clindamycin, etc.
  • More serious forms of the infection require the patient to be hospitalized and given IV antibiotics. The antibiotics used in such severe cases are vancomycin, daptomycin, quinupristin, etc. These are to be taken for up to 8 weeks to treat the infection completely.
While one is being given the treatment, it is very important the instructions by the doctor should be followed strictly. The antibiotics prescribed should be taken on time, and the course should be completed without a single break. If one does not follow the dose directions, it could cause the organism to become resistant to the drug. This can cause serious complications that take more time to be cured. It is possible for a relapse to occur. Therefore, make sure one follows all the prevention guidelines advised by the doctor.
One should never take a MSRA infection lightly, as it can lead to life-threatening complications. If you have any doubts regarding the symptoms and treatment, speak to your physician for more detailed answers. If you suspect a skin infection to be Mercer staph, visit the doctor for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purpose and not intended to replace the advice of medical experts.