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Community-associated MRSA

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Overall key points
  • Community-associated MRSA differs from the better known healthcare-associated MRSA.
  • The reported occurrence in the UK and other European countries remains low to date.
  • It occurs in young, healthy individuals, often living in close contact, such as military personnel.
  • It commonly presents as soft tissue infections.
  • Treatment is usually in primary care, but severe infections may require hospitalisation.


Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a significant bacterial pathogen, mainly associated with the secondary and tertiary healthcare environments, commonly termed healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). More recently, a new type of MRSA has emerged, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA).

CA-MRSA is commonly associated with individuals in the community who have no risk factors for the acquisition of HA-MRSA such as hospitalisation or indwelling devices. CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA are both forms of MRSA, but have distinct epidemiological and microbiological characteristics, which enable them to be differentiated.1

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