Staphylococcus aureus, commonly called “staph,” is a type of bacteria found on the skin or in the nose. About 30% of people have staph bacteria, but do not have any symptoms of an infection. MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a staph that is resistant to commonly used antibiotics. Skin infections with MRSA often begin with an injury allowing the bacteria to enter the skin and develop into an infection.
MRSA is most commonly found in health care facilities but is a rapidly emerging public health problem in the larger community, often among athletes of close-contact sports such as wrestling, football and rugby. Community-associated MRSA has become the most frequent cause of skin and soft tissue infections presenting to emergency departments in the US.