Physicians now have help in their battle against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a potentially deadly infection that initially was limited to hospitals and health care facilities but has become a growing problem in healthy children and adults. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has released its first guidelines for the treatment of increasingly common MRSA infections.
MRSA is responsible for about 60% of skin infections seen in emergency rooms. The guidelines address treatment of these common infections, which are frequently mistaken for spider bites. They also address treatment of invasive MRSA, which is less common but far more serious, including pneumonia and infections of the blood, heart, bone, joints and central nervous system. Invasive MRSA kills about 18,000 people every year.
To be published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, the guidelines are intended to guide physicians in their use of antibiotics for treatment of this common infection.
“MRSA has become a huge public health problem and physicians often struggle with how to treat it,” Catherine Liu, MD, lead author of the guidelines and assistant clinical professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Francisco, stated in a press release. “The guidelines establish a framework to help physicians determine how to evaluate and treat uncomplicated as well as invasive infections. It’s designed to be a living document, meaning the recommendations will evolve as new information and antibiotics become available.”
The IDSA guidelines address a variety of infections caused by MRSA commonly encountered by health care providers.