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Managing an Elusive Pathogen: Treatment of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infections in a Variety of Care Settings

Poretz, Donald M. MD*; Rehm, Susan J. MD†

Infectious Diseases in Clinical Practice:
doi: 10.1097/IPC.0b013e31821e260a
NFID Clinical Updates

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections continue to be a major problem both within hospitals (hospital-acquired MRSA) and increasingly in community settings (community-acquired MRSA), leading to well-publicized media reports and, as a result, greater public awareness of this problem. Clinically, it is difficult to distinguish between a MRSA and a methicillin-sensitive S. aureus skin and soft tissue infection, and this should be taken into consideration when initiating empiric therapy. There are several oral and intravenous antibiotics available to treat MRSA infections, some of which are inexpensive, whereas others are extremely costly; all have potential adverse effects and possible drug-drug interactions with which the prescriber should be familiar. Careful monitoring of patients who receive outpatient intravenous antibiotics and an understanding of various intravenous devices and their associated possible complications in addition to knowledge of the economics involved are essential to make cost-effective decisions.

Author Information

From *Georgetown University School of Medicine and Virginia Commonwealth University, Annandale, VA; and †The National Foundation of Infectious Diseases (NFID) Washington, DC and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH.

Correspondence to: Donald M. Poretz, MD, Infectious Diseases Physicians, Inc., 3289 Woodburn Road, Suite 200, Annandale, VA 22003. E-mail:

This manuscript is based on Dr Poretz's presentation during the 2008 satellite symposium at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy/Infectious Diseases Society of America Joint Annual Meeting. Portions of the manuscript have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

This activity is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Cubist Pharmaceuticals.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.