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What is Golden Staph, MRSA, VRE, and E-Coli

Staphylococcus aurea comonly known as Golden Staph Staphylococcus aureus, or S. aureus, is sometimes called golden staph. It is a common bacterium that lives on the skin or in the nose. It can cause a range of mild to severe infections and may cause death. Some strains are resistant to antibiotics. Hospital patients are more likely to be infected by S. aureus because of surgical or other wound. Golden staph is commonly carried on the skin or in the nose of healthy people.

Golden Staph can be spread by skin-on-skin contact or by touching contaminated surfaces. Poor personal hygiene and not covering open wounds can lead to infection with golden staph.

Common infections caused by golden staph include: Boils and abscesses – infections of the skin, impetigo (school sores) – a highly contagious, crusty skin infection.

More serious infection include: meningitis – infection of the membrane lining the brain, osteomyelitis – infection of the bone and bone marrow, pneumonia – infection of one or both lungs, septic phlebitis – infection of a vein and endocarditis – infection of the heart valves

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a type of Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to the antibiotic methicillin. MRSA is one example of a so-called "superbug," an informal term used to describe a strain of bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics usually used to treat it.

MRSA first appeared in patients in hospitals and other health facilities, especially among the elderly, the very sick, and those with an open wound (such as a bedsore) or catheter in the body. In these settings, MRSA is referred to as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA).

MRSA has since been found to cause illness in the community outside of hospitals and other health facilities and is known as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) in this setting. MRSA in the community is associated with recent antibiotic use,

MRSA infections are usually mild superficial infections of the skin that can be treated successfully with proper skin care and antibiotics. MRSA, however, can be difficult to treat and can progress to life-threatening blood or bone infections because there are fewer effective antibiotics available for treatment.

The transmission of MRSA is largely from people with active MRSA skin infections. MRSA is almost always spread by direct physical contact and not through the air. Spread may also occur through indirect contact by touching objects (such as towels, sheets, wound dressings, clothes, workout areas, sports equipment) contaminated by the infected skin of a person with MRSA.

Vancomycin Resistant Enterococci (VRE) known as Enterococci are bacteria that are naturally present in the intestinal tract of all people. Vancomycin is an antibiotic to which some strains of enterococci have become resistant. These resistant strains are referred to as VRE.

Serious VRE infections usually occur in hospitalized patients with serious underlying illnesses such as cancer, blood disorders, kidney disease or immune deficiencies. People in good health are not at risk of infection, but health care workers may play a role in transmitting the organism, if careful hand washing and other infection control precautions are not practiced.

Escherichia coli, (E. coli) is the name of a germ, or bacteria, that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals.

There are many types of E. coli, and most of them are harmless. But some can cause bloody diarrhea. Some strains of E. coli bacteria (such as a strain called O157:H7) may also cause severe anemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death.

Other strains of E. coli can cause uninary tract infections or other infections. You get an E. coli infection by coming into contact with the faces, or stool, of humans or animals. This can happen when you drink water or eat food that has been contaminated by faeces.

The bacteria can also spread from one person to another, usually when an infected person does not wash his or her hands well after a bowel movement. E. coli can spread from an infected person's hands to other people or to objects.

External Links

Click on the links below for more information about the key topics on this page.

Superbugs and Anti-biotic Resistance

Staphylococcus aureus

MRSA

VRE