MRSA is an acronym for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. It should be noted that MRSA is bacteria and not a virus. Bacteria are unicellular microorganism, while a virus is a sub-microscopic particle that infects the cells of an organism. Bacteria are living organisms, while debate rages whether viruses are alive or organic structures that interact with living organisms.
History of MRSA Virus
The MRSA bacterium was first identified in 1961, approximately two years after the antibiotic methicillin was introduced to treat S. aureus and other infectious bacteria. Upwards of 19,000 people died from MRSA infections annually in the United States. Fortunately, new guidelines for prevention practices in hospitals have reduced MRSA deaths by 54% between 2005 and 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, in 2011 there were still 80,000 MRSA infections that resulted in 11,000 deaths.
Evolution of MRSA
MRSA resulted as a mutation in the bacteria and it continues to evolve. There are many MRSA strains that are resistant to many antibiotics including:
As a result of the speed of MRSA mutations, and its resistance to most modern antibiotics, it is often referred to as a “superbug.” Some forms of MRSA are called “flesh-eating bacteria” because of their rapid spread and destruction of human skin.