At a glance
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It’s tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus – or staph – because it’s immune to some commonly used antibiotics.
The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you’re infected. Most often, it causes mild infections on the skin, causing pimples or boils. But it can also cause more serious skin infections or infect surgical wounds, the bloodstream, the lungs or the urinary tract.
Though most MRSA infections aren’t serious, some can be life-threatening. Many public health experts are alarmed by the spread of tough strains of MRSA. Because it’s hard to treat, MRSA is sometimes called a “superbug.”