S. aureus/MRSA

MRSA stands for meticillin, resistant Staphylococcus aureusStaphylococcus aureus is a common germ that lives completely harmlessly on the skin or in the nose of about one in three people.

MRSA is a type of Staph aureus that has become resistant to a number of different antibiotics. Most people who carry MRSA on their bodies or in their noses don’t suffer any ill effects. Carrying the germ harmlessly like this is called “colonisation”. However MRSA sometimes causes infections if it enters the body. This is more likely to happen to people who are already unwell, particularly those who are in hospital with a serious illness.

Most MRSA infections are called “local” infections, such as boils, abscesses or infected wounds. These are easily treated. In a small number of people, however, MRSA can cause serious infections such as septicaemia (also known as “bloodstream infection” or “blood poisoning”).