Q. What are the ways to prevent recurrence of MRSA infection?

Answered by
Dr. Mahwish D Abbasi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Hemalatha
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 16, 2020

Hi doctor,

I am a 49-year-old woman and last month I was hospitalized with a necrotizing soft tissue infection on my thigh. I had two debridement surgeries and was discharged after 5 days. I was treated with about 4 IV antibiotics. I do not remember them all, I recall seeing Vancomycin and Penicillin. I was told that the infection was not MRSA, but a "slower moving bacteria" they did not tell me what it was. I was swabbed for MRSA in my nose and butt before both surgeries and was told I did not have it. For the last day of my stay, I had a roommate who had a bad MRSA infection on her butt and sometimes had diarrhea incontinence during dressing changes. I had no physical contact with her, but we had the same nurse. I was discharged with a five day course of Augmentin.

The wound has been healing very well and has not gotten infected, but three weeks after discharge I got an abscess under my arm. I went to an urgent care and was prescribed Clindamycin and told to return in three days for drainage. The abscess did not improve or get worse over the three days. I got it drained and was prescribed Augmentin and told to also continue the clindamycin. That was a week ago and the wound is healing well. They called today and said cultures show it was MRSA and they prescribed Bactrim and told me to stop the other antibiotics.

I am feeling devastated by this and wanting to understand why it happened. Could I have gotten it in the hospital? I am concerned that it will not go away. Are those swabs at the hospital conclusive and mean for sure I did not have MRSA a month ago? I have never had any medical problems before and these experiences have been very frightening. Is there anything else I can do to prevent recurrence? I have read about everything from bleach baths and hibiclens to antibiotics in the nose.

Dr. Mahwish D Abbasi

Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com,

I am sorry for what you have had to go through. As you previously did not have MRSA strains, it is possible that now you have hospital-acquired strains in your blood. It is a superbug and superdifficult to treat as it is resistant to drugs of choice so you have get culture and sensitivity test to find out which one is it sensitive to. As you were told to stop other antibiotics and start Bactrim, this means the strain you have got is sensitive to Bactrim.

If there is anything else you want to ask, please feel free to contact me.

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