Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to multiple antibiotics, including methicillin. In community settings, MRSA often results in skin infections but could potentially cause pneumonia and other infections. Sepsis could occur If left untreated. For healthcare settings, such as hospitals or nursing homes, MRSA can become more severe and cause issues such as:

  • Bloodstream infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Surgical site infections
  • Sepsis 
  • Death

In both community and healthcare settings, MRSA can be spread by coming into direct contact with infected individuals or objects that carry the bacteria. Spread is more common in healthcare settings due to prolonged medical visits, antibiotic exposure, and shared common objects, etc.

Healthcare providers can help prevent the spread of MRSA in their facility by following current prevention methods for device- and procedure-related infections, practice proper antimicrobial stewardship, treat infections appropriately and quickly when they occur, and educate patients about ways to prevent spread. Listed below are the core strategies recommended for MRSA prevention:

  1. Implement interventions to reduce device and procedure-related healthcare-associated infections
  2. Implement source control strategies for high risk patients during high risk periods
  3. Implement interventions to prevent transmission of MRSA in acute care
  4. Develop infrastructure to support hospital onset Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infection prevention strategies

For additional information on these strategies please visit the CDC website on MRSA.

While keeping your hands clean is 1 of the most important ways to reduce the spread of MRSA, it can still survive on surfaces for weeks. The CDC recommends the following cleaning agents (List H) to remove MRSA bacteria.

Summary of source control strategies by central venous catheter (CVC) or midline catheter presence and unit type:







Table source