Recurrent Challenges for Clinicians: Emergence of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, Vancomycin Resistance, and Current Treatment Options

J Lab Physicians. 2013 Jul;5(2):71-8. doi: 10.4103/0974-2727.119843.

Abstract

Gram-positive pathogens mainly, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus, are developing increasing resistance to glycopeptides that pose a problem in treating infections caused by these pathogens. Vancomycin is the treatment of choice in treating methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Community-acquired MRSA is associated with infections in patients without recent history of hospital admission and without the classical risk factors for MRSA carriage (including healthcare personnel). MRSA poses new threats and challenges beyond the hospital with the emergence of community-acquired MRSA. Indiscriminate use of vancomycin leads to the emergence and spread of vancomycin resistance in multidrug resistant strains is of growing concern in the recent years. Minimum Inhibitory concentration (MIC) remains an important determinant in choosing the right antibiotics. Infections caused by MRSA strains with vancomycin MIC > 4 μg/mL leads to the vancomycin treatment failure. The Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute had also lowered the cut-off susceptibility and resistance breakpoints for vancomycin. Despite the availability of newer antimicrobial agents (Linezolid, Daptomycin, Tigecycline) for drug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens, clinicians and patients still need options for treatment of MRSA infection. There is a need to reduce the global burden of infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens and its resistant strains (mainly MRSA). Continuous efforts should be made to prevent the spread and the emergence of glycopeptide resistance by early detection of the resistant strains and using the proper infection control measures in the hospital setting.

Keywords: Enterococcus; Gram-positive; Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureas; minimum inhibitory concentration; resistance; vancomycin; vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus.

Publication types

  • Review