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Staphylococcus aureus S aureus is a facultative anaerobe with a spherical shape that grows in clusters with a yellow appearance This bacteria colonises well in high moisture areas as well as light moisture environments and can survive on dry surfaces for extended periods of time In the majority of cases this microorganism acts as a harmless commensal However in the right setting at the right time it can cause severe and at times fatal infections such as bloodstream infection BSI infective endocarditis pneumonia skin and soft tissue infections SSTI and bone infection In this essay I will discuss the problem of MRSA which stands for meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and refers to strains of S aureus that have become resistant to penicillin-based antibiotics such as flucloxacillin They are called methicillin-resistant because methicillin was the first member of this class of antibiotic however they are also resistant to antibiotics such as dicloxacillin nafcillin oxacillin as well as many cephalesporins -lactam antibiotics such as flucloxacillin were once the antibiotics of choice in treating staphylococcal infection particularly methicillin throughout the 1950s and 1960s However by the year 1961 the first strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA was identified This organism was also found to be resistant to all other -lactam antibiotics Although methicillin is no longer in clinical use all -lactam resistant Saureus isolates are still referred to as MRSA MRSA has been prevalent in Irish hospitals for over thirty years with significant accompanying mortality morbidity and additional health care costs Much work was carried out in this country on MRSA in the 1970s and 80s which has enhanced our understanding of the virulence features clinical effects and epidemiology of this pathogen MRSA contains the mecA
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