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. This presence within the body is referred to as colonization, and it significantly increases the chances of acquiring an infection by providing a reservoir of the pathogen.  In most cases, the previously asymptomatic, commensal S. aureus that previously colonized the microbiome of individuals is responsible for their infection.  Within the world of public health and medicine, a hugely important factor associated with S. aureus is its significant level of acquisition of resistance against multiple antibiotic classes, which greatly complicates efforts to treat it clinically. Cite error: Closing
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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.
- Rhonda Griffiths, Ritin Fernandez, Elizabeth Halcomb "Reservoirs of MRSA in the acute hospital setting: A systematic review" 2002. Contemporary Nurse, 13:1, 38-49