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Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of infection in both the community and hospital settings. A highly virulent and hardy pathogen, it is notable for its ability to cause a wide variety of infections, ranging from simple skin and soft tissue infections
(SSTIs) to life-threatening infections such as osteomyelitis and sepsis. Staphylococcus aureus is broadly subdivided into methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). A common misconception among both clinicians and the general public is that MRSA causes more severe infections than MSSA. In reality, both organisms cause the same general types of infections, including life-threatening infections. However, from a drug therapy perspective, MRSA manifests a higher degree of antimicrobial resistance than MSSA, making treatment a challenge in both the outpatient and inpatient settings.
For many years, MRSA was considered a nosocomial pathogen, primarily encountered in large, tertiary healthcare institutions. However, over the last 2 decades, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of MRSA infections in community and outpatient settings. Infections originating in these settings are commonly called community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections; those originating in the hospital or other healthcare settings (eg, skilled nursing facilities) are generally termed healthcare-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (HA-MRSA) infections. This issue will review important concepts related to MRSA infections, with a focus on CA-MRSA. Important management strategies, including new antibiotics used in the treatment of MRSA, will be highlighted. With the increasing incidence of CA-MRSA infections, as well as a global increase in antimicrobial resistance in this pathogen, community providers play an important role in educating both patients and other providers about appropriate treatment options.
Publication Date: 01/20/2015
Expiration Date: 01/20/2018
CE Credit: 1.5 (0.15 CEU)
Type of Activity: Knowledge-based
This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc.
The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and
is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased,
balanced information to health care practitioners.
Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic
area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure
that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care
providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.
Spencer H. Durham, Pharm.D., BCPS (AQ-ID)
Dr. Durham reports no financial or personal relationships with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.
This accredited program is targeted to
Goals & Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:
- Identify specific factors that give Staphylococcus aureus high pathogenicity and relate these factors to treatment options.
- Describe the differences between CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA and the risk factors associated with each.
- List the oral and IV antibiotics used for the treatment of MRSA infections, and identify situations when their use is appropriate or inappropriate.
- Counsel patients on the potential adverse effects of the antibiotics for MRSA infections; discuss monitoring requirements and identify potential drug interactions.
The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education as a
provider of continuing pharmacy education.
Continuing Education Network is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 13118. Programs approved by CA BRN are accepted by most State Boards of Nursing.
ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-15-001-H01-P
Exam & Credit Statement Procedures
Upon successful completion of this program and the post test (70%), 1.5 hours of continuing education credit will be awarded. To receive credit and your exam score, please complete the exam questions and
Editorial and Review Board
Chief Editor and CE Administrator
Terry M. Baker, PharmD
Tracy Farnen, PharmD
James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Associate Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Clinical Pharmacist (volunteer faculty)
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Memory and Aging Center
Lecturer (Emeritus) UCSF, Department of Clinical Pharmacy
Health Sciences Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Pharmacy
San Francisco, CA
Ray Dolby Brain Health Center, Sutter Health/CPMC
San Francisco, CA
Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
San Francisco Health Department
San Francisco, CA
Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Chief of Pharmacy Service
VA Northern California Health Care System
Adjunct Clinical Professor
College of Pharmacy
Assistant Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA Adjunct Professor
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy
University of the Pacific
Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Samuel Merritt University
Pamela Mausner, MD
Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Wayne State University
Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
Health Centers Detroit Medical Group
Senior Editorial Advisor
Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD
Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners
Meuleman, RN, C, MS
About the Rx Consultant
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educate patients about drugs and manage drug therapy. The reader is responsible for confirming
the information presented here and interpreting it in relation to each patient's specific situation before utilizing the information.
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