Diagnosis and Testing
When Suspect in MRSA

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Comprehensive answers on most common questions about MRSA can be found here in this section.



MRSA Prevention

This infection is hard to treat and it is advisable for everyone to learn some prevention tips.


Historical Overview and Basics

Dated from the early 1960's, there have been isolated outbreaks of Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus outside of the infirmary setting, but in the last few years the number of MRSA infection cases has significantly increased and concern among medical practitioners and other hospital workers is growing. Community acquired MRSA causing troubles in people of all ages, even youngsters are not excluded and previously healthy individuals with no apparent risk factors. Researches of outbreaks cases determine that the bacteria were spread in the community by Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus colonized or infected individuals through direct contact (day care,sports) and through contact with contaminated objects (shared towels,equipment for sports,razors,etc.)

First symptoms of this type of skin infection have been mistaken as a reaction to a spider bite. Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus may also can cause a bacterial pneumonia.Medical Researches had presented that community-acquired forms of MRSA are often genetically different from hospital-acquired type of Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, suggesting that they developed separately. Type of hospital-acquired infection has been typically immune to more antibiotics routinely prescribed to treat skin medical conditions and, in particularly cases, has proven to be especially virulent, developing toxins and also causing an invasive infection. Differentiations between community and hospita-acquired strains of Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus are weakning, as individuals with community-acquired strains come into the infirmary setting and as hospital patients and health care workers carry hospital-acquired MRSA into the community.

MRSA Diagnosis Pictures0001

Diagnosis of MRSA

After initial examination based on patient's symptoms, medical practitioner can recommend the following tests which will detect and confirm presence of Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria :
• Skin culture from the infected site,
• Culture of the drainage (fluid) from the infection,
• Blood culture,
• Urine culture and
• Sputum culture.

In case that tests detect presence of MRSA, further test will be targeted to show on which type antibiotics the bacteria do not have immunity to, so that we may use antibiotics to treat this disease. Most of medical institutions tests every person who is being admitted to check if they are colonized with this dangerous bacteria. Usually takes three to five days for the results to come back , although some hospitals use same-day MRSA tests. U.S. Food and Drug Administration was in the year of 2008 approved a rapid blood test that can detect the presence of Methicilin resistant Staphylococccus Aureus genetic material in a blood sample in as little as two hours.Also, this test have ability to see whether the genetic material is from MRSA or from less dangerous Staphylococcus bacteria. But, this test is not recommended for practice in monitoring treatment of MRSA infections and should not be used as the only basis for diagnosis of this potentially very serious infection.

MRSA Testing

Specific tests have mission to detect presence of MRSA. Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus are strains of Staphylococcus Aureus, or Staph bacteria, which are resistant to the antibiotic methicilin and to corresponding beta lactam antibiotics.MRSA infections have caused number of severe lung,skin,heart and bone related staph infections that have proven to difficult to heal and,sometimes proven fatal. Mostly hospitals have instituted measures to attempt to eridicate methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and to control the spread of MRSA from one person to another.Screening for MRSA is type of test that looks solely for presence of Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and no other microorganisms. Primary aim is to identify the presence of MRSA strain in a colonized person or to show if these resistant bacteria remain at a injury place after the patient has been treated for this type of skin infection. Screening on the national level may be used to help determine the source of an outbreak on a community level. Special research exams may inform researchers about unique genetic characteristic of the strains circulating in the health care setting or community.

Culture is the most widely used test to identify colonization of MRSA. This type of exam confirms the presence of the resistant bacteria and allows the organisms to be further qualified, but culture takes time, usually about 48 hours. A nasal swab is collected from the nostrils of an asymptomatic person and cultured (put onto a special nutrient medium,incubated,and then examined for the growth of characteristic Methicilin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus colonies). Also, a swab can be collected from a skin lesion or woud site of a patient who has been previously treated for a MRSA and cultured similarly.

Latest modern and significantly faster method of testing Methicilin resistant Staphylococccus Aureus by molecular method have been developed. Aim of these methods examines for the mecA gene that confers immunity to the antibiotic methicilin,nafcilin,oxacilin and dicloxacilin and some other type of similar antibiotics. This molecular exams for MRSA have potential to detect nasal or wound carriage within hours instead of 1-2 days required by culture MRSA tests. Research and development is underway to determine the utility of these rapid and more expensive molecular tests. As MRSA is developing its immunity to antibiotics over time, it is necessary to step up efforts in exploring this dangerous infection. She is a great challenge to medical research and race against time, really. To find information about treatment procedure pleas visit our treatment for MRSA page.


Some of most common questions about MRSA are answered here. Ask your MRSA question?

MRSA FAQ When someone is taking medical treatment for a longer time, especially in medical facility, it is recommended to learn basic facts about potentially very serious MRSA infection.

Additional Interesting MRSA Topics

Interesting Facts

MRSA Contagious

Is MRSA Contagious?

When a person carries the MRSA bacteria, there is possibility of transmission at any point in time in which they have it.
MRSA Pneumonia

MRSA and Pneumonia

There are many symptoms for pneumonia and people should should check with their physicians, if they feel one of the symptoms.
Our mission is to provide basic knowledge about MRSA, materials are for informational puropses only.