MRSA Infection: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causes a number of different clinical presentations. Most MRSA infections involve the skin and subcutaneous tissues, producing manifestations such as boils (which may appear similar to large pimples), abscesses, rash, or blistering areas that may be associated with pain. Boils and abscesses are localized collections of pus as a result of the bacterial infection. The inflamed area may be reddened, tender, swollen, and warm to the touch. These signs can also appear in MRSA-infected surgical incisions. When MRSA infection spreads beyond these areas to involve the bloodstream, systemic (body-wide) symptoms occur. These can include fever, chills, low blood pressure, joint pains, severe headaches, shortness of breath, and widespread rash.

Causes of MRSA infection

MRSA is an infection with a type of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that has become resistant to many commonly used antibiotics.

Related Symptoms & Signs

REFERENCE:

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Infections." May 16, 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2017
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