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MRSA infections: priorities and future approaches for research

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has arisen since the 1960s, spreadaroundtheworld,andbecomeamajorcauseofbacterialinfectionsinboth healthcare and community settings. However, the prevalence of MRSA varies significantly by region due to a number of reasons, including variations in local infection control procedures and pathogen-specific traits of the circulating clones. The independent acquisition of staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), which contains genes encoding proteins that render the bacterium resistant to the majority of β-lactam antibiotics (such as methicillin), by several S. aureus clones, has led to the emergence of various MRSA clones. The abundance of virulence factors that S. aureus produces, along with β-lactam resistance and, for the majority of clones, resistance to other antibiotic classes, contribute to MRSA’s success. Clinical signs of MRSA can include asymptomatic nasal mucosa colonization, moderate skin and soft tissue infections, or fulminant invasive illness with a high fatality rate. Although there aren’t many choices for treating MRSA, numerous new antibiotics are in the works.


It will be possible to optimise strategies to effectively control MRSA if you have a thorough understanding of colonisation dynamics, transmission pathways, risk factors for progressing to infection, and environmental factors that encourage the evolution of resistance. Additionally, vaccine candidates are being developed and may eventually be useful as a preventative approach.


MRSA, aethicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, SCCmec, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec, ClfB, clumping factor B, PMNs, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, PBP2a, penicillin-binding protein 2a, IgG, immunoglobulin G, CP5, capsular polysaccharide 5, WTA, wall teichoic acid, WGS, whole-genome sequencing