MRSA epidemic increases antibiotic resistance

Health professionals recently reported that methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is the form of Staphylococcus aureus that is antibiotic resistant and widespread throughout healthcare facilities in the U.S., livestock, communities and environments, is increasing the severity of antibiotic-resistant illnesses.

The current rates of MRSA invasive infections have decreased in healthcare facilities, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that it is because the CDC has tracked only invasive MRSA infections. This means that the true rates of MRSA infections are significantly under-reported. Additionally, community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) infection rates are neither tracked nor reported and are rising.

A 2013 USA Today investigation showed that the 80,500 invasive MRSA cases reported by the CDC in 2011 vastly underrepresented the diseases; approximately six times (460,000) as many hospitalizations actually involve MRSA. In 2011, approximately 23,000 people died from MRSA.

CA-MRSA infections have steadily risen. More than 50 percent of skin infections within the U.S. are caused by MRSA. There has not been surveillance or reporting of CA-MRSA, and MRSA continues to be an epidemic.

“The ongoing MRSA epidemic is fueling antibiotic resistance globally as antibiotics are used indiscriminately in humans and in livestock,” Jeanine Thomas, founder of MRSA Survivors Network, said. “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a current and dangerous public health crisis.”