MRSA is a type of staph infection increasingly seen in communities across the nation that is resistant to the antibiotics used for years to treat these skin conditions, such as cephalexin and dicloxacillin.

“The study points to the rising prevalence of this type of MRSA and the need for clinicians to culture infections and make sure the proper antibiotic is administered to treat MRSA,” said Dr. Gregory J. Moran, the study’s principal investigator and a clinical professor of medicine in the department of emergency medicine and the Division of Infectious Diseases at Olive View– University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center.

Out of 422 patients tested at eleven metropolitan emergency rooms, 59 percent, were found to have MRSA. Further characterization of the samples, revealed that one genetic type accounted for 97 percent of the samples. Researchers tested the antibiotic resistance of the isolated MRSA samples and found that in 57 percent of cases, doctors had prescribed an antibiotic to which the bacteria were resistant.

Researchers tested the effectiveness of different types of antibiotics on the MRSA samples and found that 95 percent were susceptible to clindamycin, 6 percent to erythromycin, 60 percent to fluoroquinolones, 100 percent to rifampin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and 92 percent to tetracycline.

“Doctors need to change what they’ve done for decades, since traditional antibiotics don’t work against MRSA,” Talan said. “We encourage physicians to reconsider antibiotic choices for skin and soft-tissue infections in areas where MRSA is prevalent in the community.” Talan notes that most MRSA cases are mild, and having the infection drained and keeping it clean resolves the problem.

MEDICA.de; Source: University of California, Los Angeles