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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2009 Mar;23(1):35-52. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2008.10.002.

Staphylococcus aureus: a community pathogen.

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Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Division of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control Program, 1000 W. Carson Street, Box 466, Torrance CA 90509, USA.


Staphylococcus aureus is a common human pathogen. S aureus infections most commonly clinically manifest as skin infections. There has been much interest in S aureus infections in the community over the past decade because of the rise of community-associated methicillin-resistant S aureus (CA-MRSA) infections, which have emerged globally over a relatively short period of time. In contrast to health care-associated methicillin resistant S aureus (HA-MRSA), circulating strains of CA-MRSA have characteristic pathogenesis, strain characteristics, epidemiology, and clinical manifestations that are distinct from HA-MRSA. In fact, CA-MRSA probably behaves more like community-associated methicillin-sensitive S aureus (MSSA). This article reviews current knowledge of the epidemiology and clinical manifestations of community-associated S aureus and CA-MRSA infections.

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