Racial Disparities in MRSA Infections

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What is MRSA?

Image taken from a colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) magnified at 20,000X depicting a grouping of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. Photo credit belongs to Public Health Image Library. CDC.


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. [1] 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. [1] 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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[[Image:sociologicalMRSA.jpeg|thumb|300px|right| MRSA cases by race, stratified by quartiles of US census data pertaining to income, housing, education, and health. Cases are depicted in increasing quartiles of census data, per 100000 persons for white (white bars) and black (black bars) persons. [2]

Hospital-Associated MRSA

Community-Associated MRSA

MRSA cases by race, stratified by quartiles of US census data pertaining to income, housing, education, and health. Cases are depicted in increasing quartiles of census data, per 100000 persons for white (white bars) and black (black bars) persons. [3]

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References