Racial Disparities in MRSA Infections
What is MRSA?
By Amir Johnson
Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA for short, is a Gram-positive cocci-shaped (spherical) bacterium that measures approximately 1μm in diameter and forms clusters that are popularly described as being grape-like.  S. aureus is present on and within the bodies of many individuals asymptomatically, and as a result of this it often remains unnoticed. According to studies around 20% of people are persistent nasal carriers of S. aureus and around 30% are intermittent carriers, with the remaining 50% not carrying the bacterium.  Other than within the nose, S. aureus can be commonly seen present on the skin, skin glands, guts, and a variety of mucous membranes.
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Legend/credit: Electron micrograph of the Ebola Zaire virus. This was the first photo ever taken of the virus, on 10/13/1976. By Dr. F.A. Murphy, now at U.C. Davis, then at the CDC. Every image requires a link to the source.
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- Lakhundi, S., & Zhang, K. https://doi.org/10.1128/CMR.00020-18 "Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus: Molecular Characterization, Evolution, and Epidemiology." 2018. Clinical microbiology reviews, 31(4), e00020-18.
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- Isaac See, Paul Wesson, Nicole Gualandi, Ghinwa Dumyati, Lee H. Harrison, Lindsey Lesher, Joelle Nadle, Susan Petit, Claire Reisenauer, William Schaffner, Amy Tunali, Yi Mu, Jennifer Ahern "Socioeconomic Factors Explain Racial Disparities in Invasive Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Disease Rates" 2017. Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 64, Issue 5, 1 March 2017, Pages 597–604.