Background: Following its first recognition in early 1960s, the increasing incidence of nosocomial and community-acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections has become a global problem. The emergence of multiple-drug resistant MRSA strains and dissemination of epidemic antibiotic clones including presence of wide spectrum of virulence and predisposing risk factors complicate diagnosis, chemotherapy and control causing significant morbidity and mortality. Detection of MRSA strains in domestic animals and protozoan has widened the epidemiologic characters of the organism and may influence infection control policies. Objectives: To review the emergence and epidemiologic spread of resistant strains of MRSA, molecular/genetic basis of resistance in the organism and challenges facing control strategies worldwide. It also aims to suggest intervention strategies so as to checkmate the spread of MRSA infections.
Methods: By reviewing local and international literatures on MRSA infections coupled with practical experience in the field of this endeavour. Result/Conclusion: MRSA has shown increasing endemic and epidemic spread in the last four decades causing serious medical and socio-economic difficulties. Routine and regular surveillance (uncommon in poor-resourced developing areas of especially sub-Saharan Africa), good hospital practices and personal hygiene, public enlightenment, development of effective therapeutic agents and rational administration of antibiotics based on reliable test results will limit the spread of MRSA infections.
Key words: MRSA, incidence, morbidity, mortality, surveillance, control.
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