Anatomy & Organs

MRSA Infection – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

MRSA infection

Behind the health impairment, colloquially simply referred to as MRSA infection , there is a whole circle of symptoms that have affected and still affect a large number of inpatients in recent times and in the present.

What is MRSA infection?

MRSA stands for a disease that is characterized by contagion and can significantly and even life-threateningly reduce the general condition of those affected.

Within the framework of the definition of MRSA as an abbreviation for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, there is a resistance, an insensitivity of a certain strain of microbial pathogens. In the case of MRSA, this means that these bacteria are insensitive to a whole range of antibiotic drugs and show no treatment effects.

People who have a healthy immune system are unlikely to get MRSA. However, people who have a reduced functionality of the immune system due to their incomplete development, their advanced age or an existing disease often develop MRSA. Hardly any vital and healthy people contract MRSA. However, MRSA is transmissible.

causes

The causes of MRSA include the pathogens that also occur normally in intact and healthy organisms. These vital Staphylococcus aureus bacteria become accustomed to these substances through the continuous and permanent, sometimes even underdosed, administration of antibiotics and no longer react to them.

As a result, a large variety of diseases can develop with MRSA. These can no longer be treated with the usual antibiotics against pathogenic bacteria because the germs can no longer be rendered harmless. The bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics.

In addition, a reduced immune defense and a high rate of infection due to predestined transmission routes as well as poor hygiene and disinfection (e.g. in hospitals) are also the causes of MRSA.

Lately, cases of MRSA infections due to poor hospital hygiene have increased in Germany. It is not uncommon for patients to become ill during an operation due to poorly disinfected surgical instruments.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

An MRSA infection becomes noticeable through inflammatory processes that can occur locally or systemically. Localized infections occur as purulent inflammations of the skin, the sebaceous glands or the hair follicles : They usually appear as pressure-sensitive pus bumps ( abscesses ), small purulent knots ( furuncles ) or skin rashes . After injuries or operations, wound infections occur due to the multi-resistant germs, which do not improve even with the administration of antibiotics and, in the worst case, result in the death of tissue ( necrosis ).

If the pathogens penetrate into deeper parts of the body, middle ear infections , sinus infections , urinary tract infections or meningitis can develop. Coughing and shortness of breath indicate involvement of the lungs, and involvement of the inner lining of the heart ( endocarditis ) or the bone marrow ( osteomyelitis ) is also possible. Occasionally, the bacteria settle in joints and trigger inflammatory reactions with swelling and overheating of the joints (septic arthritis ).

Systemic MRSA infections are often accompanied by fever and a general feeling of illness . In a blood test, the inflammation levels are significantly increased. If the pathogens get into the bloodstream, the infection can spread to the entire organism and lead to life-threatening blood poisoning ( sepsis ) with high fever, chills , increased heart rate and progressive organ failure . In the context of food poisoning, toxins (toxins) produced by the bacteria cause severe nausea , vomiting and diarrhea .

Diagnose

Within the diagnostic measures for the detection of MRSA , special laboratory procedures come into question, which are intended in particular to provide germ detection and resistance testing. So-called molecular-biological methods supplement this diagnosis for MRSA.

A status, called an antibiogram, shows which antibiotic drugs the bacterial strain Staphylococcus aureus is resistant to. Swabs from the nasal mucosa in the nasal vestibule, from the pharynx and the armpits are used as test materials .

Blood, purulent secretions and excretions from wounds are also used for laboratory tests. In addition, long-lasting wound healing disorders that can hardly be treated and permanent infections indicate the presence of MRSA.

complications

It is not uncommon for those affected to suffer from blood poisoning as a result of the MRSA infection. This is a very dangerous condition for the patient’s body and can be fatal if not treated promptly. It also leads to vomiting or diarrhea, so that the quality of life of those affected is significantly reduced and restricted.

The symptoms also drastically restrict the patient’s everyday life, so that it is usually no longer possible for the patient to carry out strenuous activities. MRSA infection also leads to severely delayed wound healing and thus to permanent infections and inflammation. These can also lead to further complications and, in the worst case, to death.

The treatment of MRSA infection is carried out with the help of various antibiotics. There are no particular complications, although the antibiotics are often associated with various side effects. Rinsing of the oral cavity is also necessary. Those affected must also avoid contact with other people. Whether life expectancy will be reduced as a result of MRSA infection cannot be generally predicted. This prognosis is highly dependent on the severity and treatment of this disease.

When should you go to the doctor?

Changes in the complexion, rashes or the development of abscesses are signs of an existing health impairment that should be clarified by a doctor. If lumps form on the skin, if there is pus formation, itching or open wounds, a doctor is needed. If the person concerned cannot ensure adequate sterile wound care for the affected areas on the body, the help and support of a doctor is necessary to prevent complications.

Pain when going to the toilet, a feeling of pain inside the body and a general feeling of being unwell are symptoms that need to be examined by a doctor. Before taking any pain medication, you must consult a doctor so that no additional impairments develop. If symptoms such as coughing or breathing problems occur, a doctor’s visit is required. A general feeling of illness, a decrease in the usual performance as well as fever, nausea and vomiting are signs of an illness.

A doctor’s visit is necessary so that the cause of the symptoms can be determined and treatment can be initiated. If the person concerned suffers from chills, cardiac arrhythmia, diarrhea or sleep disorders, he should consult a doctor. If everyday obligations can no longer be fulfilled or if the state of health deteriorates sharply within a short period of time, a doctor is needed. A sudden feeling of warmth in the joints should also be presented to a doctor.

Treatment & Therapy

Various methods are used as part of the therapeutic measures against MRSA . In compliance with the appropriate disinfection measures and to avoid the transmission of germs, those affected are rarely isolated. However, this does not have to be the case in every case.

When treating MRSA with drugs, doctors rely on a complex combination of different antibiotics. These are determined on the basis of the antibiogram for MRSA and only include substances that kill the bacteria. Special antibiotic and penicillin-containing products such as rifampicin, clindamycin and gentamicin can be administered. In this connection with an effective therapy for MRSA, the intake prescriptions must be strictly adhered to. In addition, combination preparations such as fosfomycin and fusidic acid as well as linezolid are used against MRSA.

In addition to therapy, MRSA requires rinsing of the mouth and throat, nasal ointments containing mupirocin and skin cleansing based on antiseptic additives. Regular laboratory-based controls of suitable body fluids or excretions are necessary for MRSA and enable a precise assessment of the course and a targeted treatment of specific symptoms of the disease.

Outlook & Forecast

Most patients with MRSA infection have a good prognosis. Medicines are administered, so that a decrease in the symptoms can be expected within a short time. As soon as complications arise, alternative preparations are prescribed, which also aim to alleviate the symptoms. Freedom from symptoms is often documented after a few weeks and the patient is discharged from treatment as recovered. The affected person can use additional self-help measures to support good health development.

In addition to various preventive care options, cleanings and rinses can also be used independently during the healing process. On the one hand, this shortens the healing path and also mobilizes the body’s own defense system. However, if the disease progresses unfavorably, a life-threatening condition can develop. If left untreated or in the case of a very unfortunate course of further health developments, the affected person can suffer from a secondary disease.

There is an increased risk of blood poisoning with MRSA infection. Sepsis is potentially life-threatening for the patient and can lead to premature death within a short period of time. There is also the possibility of permanent infections or other inflammatory diseases. In people with a weak immune system, these can also lead to the premature death of the patient.

prevention

In order to prevent an illness caused by MRSA , which rarely breaks out in healthy people, it is fundamental to pay attention to appropriate hygiene. If it is known that there are people suffering from MRSA in their daily environment, then additional protective measures will also be necessary in the private sphere.

As part of prevention, there are no objections to the sensible use of disposable gloves and suitable disinfectants or to skin or body contact. However, if there are open wounds or skin injuries to be treated, it is important to adhere to the disinfection specifications in order to avoid the spread of germs and infection.

aftercare

Those affected often suffer from blood poisoning as a result of the MRSA infection. For this reason, immediate treatment by a doctor is required. Diarrhea and vomiting occur. The quality of life of those affected is significantly impaired. Those affected are permanently dependent on the help and support of relatives. Simple activities can no longer be carried out independently.

This can lead to severe depression and other mental illnesses in those affected. Only a low load capacity is possible. Strenuous activities cannot be carried out because the symptoms then worsen. Uplifting conversations with friends and relatives can help relieve mental pressure and prevent depressive moods from developing.

Affected people often have to rinse their mouth. No contact with other people is allowed. Whether the MRSA infection reduces the life expectancy of those affected can only be decided on a case-by-case basis. This depends on the severity of the disease and when treatment is started. Even after the acute phase of the disease, regular appointments with the doctor should be made to ensure that no further complications arise.

You can do that yourself

An MRSA infection can be self-treated with the help of various measures. It is particularly important to comply with the prescribed disinfection measures. Only adequate hygiene can reliably prevent the infection from spreading and also reduce the risk of infection. The transmission of the germs can also be avoided if the person concerned takes sick leave in the first days of the illness. This is necessary above all because of the high risk of infection of the triggering pathogen.

The drug treatment of MRSA can, for example, be supported by antibiotic preparations from naturopathy and homeopathy . For example, the anti-inflammatory devil’s claw and the remedy belladonna have proven effective . Regardless of which remedy is used, a doctor should approve and monitor the treatment. Furthermore, regular rinsing of the mouth and throat is indicated. The affected person can also use mupicrocin-containing nasal ointments and care products based on antiseptic additives.

In addition, close monitoring by the doctor is always required. If the measures mentioned have no effect or unusual symptoms appear, it is best to consult the responsible doctor again.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.