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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Sep;7(9):629-41. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2200.

Waves of resistance: Staphylococcus aureus in the antibiotic era.

Author information

1
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, California 94110, USA. hchambers@medsfgh.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is notorious for its ability to become resistant to antibiotics. Infections that are caused by antibiotic-resistant strains often occur in epidemic waves that are initiated by one or a few successful clones. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) features prominently in these epidemics. Historically associated with hospitals and other health care settings, MRSA has now emerged as a widespread cause of community infections. Community or community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) can spread rapidly among healthy individuals. Outbreaks of CA-MRSA infections have been reported worldwide, and CA-MRSA strains are now epidemic in the United States. Here, we review the molecular epidemiology of the epidemic waves of penicillin- and methicillin-resistant strains of S. aureus that have occurred since 1940, with a focus on the clinical and molecular epidemiology of CA-MRSA.

PMID:
19680247
PMCID:
PMC2871281
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro2200
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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