MRSA Symptoms You Should Know

Written on:June 23, 2011
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      Most cases of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) start as a localized skin infection. It is important to recognize the symptoms of a bacterial skin infection, because if the infection is caused by MRSA, there is a large chance that the infection can spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. The earlier the treatment begins for a MRSA skin infection, the better the prognosis for the patient.


MRSA infects the skin if the bacteria can get into the skin through an open wound, crack or puncture in the skin barrier. Symptoms of MRSA infection of the skin may include a rash, cellulitis, boils, abscesses, carbuncles and impetigo. A rash resulting from MRSA infection may appear as a red, inflamed area or a series of small bumps. Cellulitis is an infection of the skin and superficial underlying connective tissues; cellulitis usually appears as a red, puffy area of skin. Boils are hair follicles that become infected and filled with pus. Pus is a white or yellow fluid composed mainly of cellular debris from bacteria and white blood cells. When pus collects underneath the skin, this is called an abscess. A very large abscess with multiple openings is called a carbuncle. Impetigo is a skin infection caused by Staphyloccoccus aureus bacteria that causes multiple small blisters.


A person with a MRSA skin infection may have one, some or all of the MRSA symptoms described above. These symptoms can also be caused by infections with other species of bacteria, or even a strain of Staphyloccous aureus that is sensitive to methicillin, so it requires a laboratory test to diagnose a MRSA infection. All skin infections should be checked out by a medical professional.


If a MRSA infection spreads internally, it can affect virtually any part of the body, including the heart, lungs, bones and bloodstream. The symptoms of a systemic MRSA infection vary depending on which parts of the body are infected. A person with a MRSA infection in their lungs will develop symptoms of pneumonia, such as a high fever, chills, shortness of breath, coughing and a heavy feeling in their chest. MRSA may cause serious complications such as endocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle, and osteomyelitis, a bone infection. A very small proportion of people with a Staphylococcus aureus infection develop a rapidly-growing skin infection called necrotizing fasciitis. This infection spreads at an alarming pace and causes large areas of skin cells to die (necrose). Another serious complication of MRSA infections that spread is sepsis, which occurs when the bacteria get into the bloodstream. Not only can the bacteria then easily spread to previously unaffected organs, but the immune system has a reaction to the bacteria that causes blood pressure to drop severely. This reaction is called septic shock. If blood pressure drops too low, cardiac arrest and death can occur.


While MRSA does not respond to penicillin and methicillin, there are still some antibiotics that can clear up a MRSA infection. It is important to recognize the symptoms of MRSA and get the infection treated promptly, before it has the chance to spread.

4 Comments add one

  1. admin says:

    Thanks for leaving a decent reply here.

  2. Pingback:MRSA Symptoms You Should Know | Staph Infection

  3. Julian Lieb,M.D says:

    Stimulating defective immune function to perform efficiently is a desirable approach to defeating microorganisms and toxins. Such stimulation is represented as unavailable, when in truth the immunostimulating properties of lithium and antidepressants were documented many years ago. A therapeutic claim is reinforced when the mechanism is known. Prostaglandin E2, when produced excessively, depresses every component of immune function, and induces microbial replication. Lithium and antidepressants oppose prostaglandin E2. Cumulative evidence shows that lithium has immunostimulating, antiviral, and antibacterial properties, antidepressants immunostimulating, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasite, and fungicidal properties. Lithium seems to favor acute and antidepressants chronic infections.
    People with intact immune function are relatively invulnerable to pathogens and toxins, compared to those with defective function. Depression is a seldom mentioned cause of defective immunity, although indices of immune function indicate that it does so.
    Immunostimulation is nonspecific, thus of paramount importance for all infectious disorders. It is not amenable to clinical trials, which in any event would be unethical. I would favor lithium for swine and bird flu infections, and for prevention in those that wish to take it for that purpose. Clinical observation will reveal whether lithium or antidepressants are to be preferred.
    Manku MS, Horrobin DF. Chloroquine, quinine, procaine, quinidine and clomipramine are prostaglandin agonists and antagonists. Prostaglandins 1976; 12: 789-801.
    Bosetti F, Rintala J, Seemann R, Rosenberger TA, Contreras MA, Rapoport SI, Chang MC. Chronic lithium down regulates cyclooxygenase-2 activity and prostaglandin E(2) concentration in rat brain. Mol Psychiatry. 2002; 7(8):845-50.
    Dutta P, Pinto J, Rivlin R. Antimalarial properties of imipramine and amitriptyline. J Protozool 1990; 37(1): 54-58.
    Munoz-Bellido J, Munoz-Criado S, Garcia-Rodriguez J. Antimicrobial activity of psychotropic drugs: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Int J Antimicrob Agents 2000; 14(3): 177-180.
    Frank M, Hendricks S, Johnson D, Wiesler J L, Burke WJ. Antidepressants augment natural killer cell activity: in vivo and in vitro. Neuropsychobiology 1999; 39(1):18-24.
    Evans DL, Lynch KG, Benton T, Dube B, Gettes Tustin NB, Lai JP, Metsger D, Douglas SD Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and substance P antagonist enhancement of natural killer cell innate immunity in human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Biol Psychiatry 2008 May 1:63(9):899-905. Epub 2007 Oct 22.
    Action mechanisms of lithium chloride on cell infection by transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus. . Ren X, Meng F, Yin J, Li G, Li X, Wang C, Herrler G. PLoS One. 2011 May 6; 6(5):e18669.

    Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes only. All treatment decisions to be made with a physician

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  4. Pretty well written on mrsa symptoms. I don’t think most people are aware of all the common signs of this infection.

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