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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is a pathogen responsible for common skin infections, such as impetigo, cellulitis, folliculitis, and abscess and it is the most common cause for skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI). Humans are carriers of this microorganism and are responsible for facilitating its spread around the world. Over time it has developed resistance to multiple antibiotics, such as penicillin and methicillin, which has made S. aureus a persistent problem in the healthcare world today. Its methicillin resistance has given it the more commonly known name methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). MRSA was initially discovered solely in the healthcare environment and thus became known as healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). With time, MRSA began to affect people with no previous exposure to a healthcare facility and was therefore called community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). Incision and drainage are often the first and best treatment option used against SSTI caused by MRSA. Antimicrobial therapy is also employed. Vancomycin is currently the leading drug, however other antibiotics such as linezolid, daptomycin, clindamycin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole are sometimes used due to a growing number of reports of vancomycin resistance. This paper examines the different options for the treatment of SSTI caused by MRSA by comparing different antibiotics, their mechanisms of action and resistance, dosages and administration, as well as adverse effects. No definite conclusion can be made as to the best or most effective treatment option for MRSA. Rather, each reporting of SSTI caused by MRSA needs to be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine the most appropriate choice of therapy. The various aspects of MRSA and therapy choices employed to combat it have been researched by the author using the Touro database, Google Scholar, and PubMed for various links to journals and articles that these databases provide.

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