Difference Between MRSA and Staphylococcus Infections Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms

Staphylococcus aureus (Staphylococcus) is one of the most common bacteria on the skin. Usually, it doesn’t cause problems, but it can cause several types of infections when it gets under the skin, in the bloodstream, or in other body organs.

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are the same bacteria but resistant to some commonly used antibiotics (drugs that prevent bacteria from growing or kill them).

This article discusses the difference between MRSA and a typical staph infection called methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), and how to treat and prevent them.

MRSA and Staphylococcus

MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus bacteria, so people can become infected with either organism.

The difference between the two is that MRSA is more difficult to treat because it is resistant to certain antibiotics.Because the only difference is antibiotic susceptibility, a typical staph infection is called methicillin susceptibility Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcal skin infections and MRSA

What is MRSA?

MRSA is a Staphylococcus aureus resistance to certain antibiotics, especially methicillin, similar to penicillin.


The symptoms associated with MRSA infection are the same as those of MSSA infection and depend on the part of the body that is infected.

Skin infections cause:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • warmth
  • pain

Deeper skin infections may develop abscess Drain the pus. Serious skin infections can also be associated with fever.

Some skin infections can spread to other organs in the body, such as the lungs, heart, and bones, and cause the following:

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia (in the lungs) cause fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • MRSA infection of the heart called endocarditisand cause fever, palpitations, weight loss, and heart murmurs.
  • bone infection called osteomyelitis cause deep pain.
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Like MSSA, MRSA can cause bacterial blood poisoning called septicemia. Patients with sepsis have fever, lethargy, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure.


There is no way to distinguish MSSA from MRSA based on the appearance of the infection on the skin or other symptoms related to the appearance.


Antibiotic-resistant microbes were previously only common in healthcare settings such as hospitals and nursing homes. However, MRSA has spread beyond healthcare settings and is widespread in the general community.

MRSA is usually spread by contact with an infected person or by touching dry surfaces that carry the bacteria. The organism can be spread through shared towels, clothing, and razors. Bacteria can live for months on high-use surfaces like doorknobs, sports equipment and TV remotes.

MRSA is also spread by sharing needles that inject drugs or drugs. People who inject drugs are 16 times more likely to develop a serious staph infection than the general population.


Because MRSA is resistant to some commonly used antibiotics, healthcare providers must use other treatments to cure the infection.

Oral treatment of simple skin infections Clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, Doxycyclineor Linezolid. Complicated or severe infections requiring intravenous (IV) treatment Vancomycin or daptomycin.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America recommends that healthcare providers use typical antibiotic regimens for skin infections, even though MRSA is common outside the hospital setting. Antibiotics for MRSA should be considered if the infection does not respond to initial treatment.

How to know if you have MRSA

If your staph skin infection doesn’t get better when you take antibiotics, you may have MRSA.

When to see a healthcare provider

There is no way to know if a person has MRSA or MSSA based on the appearance of the infection or symptoms. If you suspect a staph infection, your healthcare provider should evaluate it and determine if treatment is needed.

What to do if you do have MRSA

Like MSSA, MRSA is contagious. Staphylococci may also be ingested and cause gastrointestinal illnesses associated with vomiting and diarrhea.

To prevent spreading it to others, you should cover your infection and avoid handling or preparing food for others.

Is MRSA contagious?


You can reduce your risk of contracting MRSA by doing the following:

  • Practice good hand and body hygiene. This means frequent hand washing and regular bathing, especially after exercise and group activities.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, sheets, clothing, and razors, especially with infected people.
  • Clean sports equipment before and after each use.
  • Contact your healthcare provider early if you think you have an infection to prevent serious illness.


MRSA is a Staphylococcus aureus Resistant to commonly used antibiotics. In other respects, the infection is the same as any other staph infection. MRSA treatment requires antibiotics that some organisms cannot tolerate. You can prevent the spread of MRSA by practicing good hygiene, avoiding sharing sheets and razors, cleaning sports equipment, and covering wounds.

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Everyone is at risk of contracting MRSA, and there is no way to differentiate between resistant and susceptible bacteria. However, MRSA can be treated with several different antibiotics. If you suspect a skin infection or something deeper, talk with your healthcare provider about what to do next.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does MRSA look like?

    MRSA looks the same as any other staph infection. Skin infections manifest as redness, swelling, warmth, and pain. Sometimes there is a yellow crust around the pimple. The center of the MRSA abscess is visibly swollen and soft with pus inside.

  • How long does it take for MRSA to heal?

    The healing time depends on the type of MRSA infection. Skin infections will improve one to two days after starting antibiotic treatment, and the typical duration of treatment is 7 days. However, deeper heart or blood conditions require weeks of treatment.

  • How long can MRSA survive on surfaces?

    Staphylococci can live on linen for days to weeks. One study showed that staph bacteria can live on dry surfaces like doorknobs for months.

  • Does MRSA itch as it heals?

    As the wound begins to heal, inflammation and immune responses in the area stimulate sensory nerves that send signals to the brain that are interpreted as itching. As a result, all wounds—including those caused by MRSA—will itch as they heal.

  • How long can MRSA be contagious after starting antibiotics?

    MRSA is contagious as long as the bacteria are still causing the infection. Therefore, until the wound heals, a person can be contagious. The wound must be covered to avoid spreading the bacteria to others.