What Is Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA)?

The majority of staph infections heal at home. Depending on the sort of infection you have and how you treat it, healing times vary.

Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, or MSSA, is an infection brought on by a particular kind of bacteria that is frequently found on the skin. It may have been referred to as a staph infection.

Antibiotics are typically used for the treatment of staph infections. The way staph infections react to this treatment determines their classification:
  • Antibiotics are a treatment option for MSSA infections.
  • resistant to methicillin Certain drugs cannot treat infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
Both kinds have the potential to be quite dangerous. An overview of MSSA symptoms, causes, and treatments is given in this article.

What are the symptoms?

The location of the staph infection affects the MSSA symptoms. MSSA can impact the bones, joints, organs, skin, and blood. The severity of the symptoms might vary from minor to fatal.

Among the potential indicators of an MSSA infection are:
  • Skin infections. Skin-related Staph infections can manifest as boils, pus pimples, cellulitis, impetigo, and abscesses.
  • Fever. When you have a fever, your body is trying to fight off an illness. Dehydration, sweating, chills, and confusion can all be symptoms of a fever.
  • Aches and pains. In addition to headaches and muscular aches, staph infections can result in joint discomfort and oedema.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms. Food poisoning can be caused by the Staph bacterium. Vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, nausea, and stomach discomfort are typical signs of staph food poisoning.

What causes MSSA?

Staph bacteria are frequently discovered on skin surfaces, including the nose's interior. Thirty percent of Americans, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have staph bacteria in their nostrils.

Staph can occasionally be innocuous. It is feasible for someone to have it and not exhibit any symptoms.

In other instances, staph leads to mild infections of the mouth, throat, nose, and skin that are readily treated. Even staph infections are capable of self-healing.

If a staph infection is also present in the bloodstream, which typically occurs from an advanced and untreated illness, it becomes dangerous. Complications from Staph infections can be fatal.

Staph is particularly harmful in healthcare settings because it spreads readily from person to person.

Skin-to-skin contact is how staph is disseminated; usually, this occurs when you touch anything that has germs on it and then transfer it to your hands.

Furthermore, staph bacteria have resilience. They can survive for a long enough period on materials like mattresses or doorknobs for someone to become infected.

Who is at increased risk?

Adults, elderly adults, and children are all susceptible to MSSA infections. The following factors may make you more susceptible to contracting an MSSA infection:

A current or recent stay in a healthcare facility

Staph bacteria are still prevalent in environments where individuals with weakened immune systems may come into contact with infected individuals or contaminated surfaces. This comprises:
  • hospitals
  • nursing homes
  • clinics
  • outpatient facilities

Medical devices

Medical devices that enter the body and potentially harbour Staph germs include:
  • catheters
  • intravenous (IV) devices
  • tubes for breathing, feeding, or kidney dialysis

People with long-term illnesses or compromised immune systems

Those who have:
  • HIV or AIDS
  • kidney diseases
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • lung diseases
  • Skin-related conditions, such as eczema
Individuals who inject medications, such as insulin, are also at a higher risk.

Having an uncovered or draining wound

An open wound might allow the Staph bacterium to enter the body. Those who play contact sports or live and work in close quarters may experience this.

Sharing personal items

You run a higher chance of contracting staph infection if you share specific products. Among these are:
  • razors
  • towels
  • sports equipment
  • uniforms
  • bedding

This usually happens in communal residences or locker rooms.

Unhygienic food preparation

People who handle food may come into contact with staph if they do not properly wash their hands.

How is MSSA diagnosed?

Your doctor will quiz you about your symptoms and check your skin for sores or other infection-related symptoms if they think you have a staph infection.

In an attempt to ascertain whether you were exposed to staph bacteria, your doctor may quiz you.

To confirm a suspected staph infection, your doctor may order additional testing. These could consist of:
  • Blood test. White blood cell (WBC) counts that are high can be detected by a blood test. An infection may be being fought by your body if your WBC count is high. If your blood contains the infection, this can also be ascertained by a blood culture.
  • Tissue culture. A sample from the affected area may be taken by your doctor and sent to a laboratory. The sample is evaluated after being given regulated growth conditions in the laboratory. This is particularly useful in determining the kind of infection (MRSA or MSSA) and the appropriate course of treatment (medication).
The tissue culture may occasionally take longer, but generally speaking, you should have the results of these tests in two to three days. To look for problems, your doctor may order additional testing if a staph infection is diagnosed.

How is MSSA treated?

When treating staph infections, antibiotics are usually the first course of action. Depending on how the illness was obtained, your doctor will determine which drugs have the best chance of treating your infection.

While some antibiotics are given intravenously (IV), others are taken orally. Antibiotics that are currently recommended for the treatment of MSSA infections include the following:
  • nafcillin
  • cephalexin
  • oxacillin
Among the drugs that are now recommended for treating MRSA infections are:
  • trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole
  • doxycycline
  • linezolid
  • vancomycin
  • clindamycin
  • daptomycin
Adhere to your doctor's prescription for antibiotics exactly. Even if you feel better now, be sure you finish the entire dosage.

Depending on your symptoms, you may need more treatments. For example, a doctor may perform an incision to remove fluid from a wound if you have a skin infection.

If your doctor feels that a medical device is causing the illness, they may remove it.

What are possible complications?

Many medical issues, some potentially fatal, can arise from Staph infections. The following are the most typical side effects:
  • When bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can cause bacteremia.
  • Pneumonia is more common in those with underlying lung diseases.
  • When germs invade the heart valves, endocarditis results. It may result in cardiac issues or a stroke.
  • Staph infections of the bones result in osteomyelitis. Through injections of drugs, wounds, or circulation, staph can enter the bones.
  • Toxins linked to some staph bacterium strains can result in toxic shock syndrome, a potentially lethal illness.
  • Septic arthritis produces pain and swelling in the joints.

What’s the outlook?

The majority of staph infections are curable. The nature of the infection will determine your healing window.

These infections have the potential to worsen and even be fatal if staph gets into the circulation.

According to CDC research from 2019, 119,247 Americans had staph bacteria in their bloodstream in 2017. 19832 of those individuals passed away. Put differently, almost 83% of patients had a full recovery.

It usually takes several months to recover.

See your physician as soon as possible if you think you may have an MSSA infection.

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