Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become one of the leading etiologies of nosocomial pneumonia as a result of an increase in staphylococcal infections caused by methicillin-resistant strains paired with extended ventilatory support of critically, and often, chronically ill patients. The prevalence of community-acquired MRSA pneumonia, which historically affects younger patients and is often preceded by an influenza-like illness, is also increasing. A high index of suspicion and early initiation of appropriate antibiotics are key factors for the successful treatment of this disease. Even with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, MRSA pneumonia still carries an unacceptably high mortality rate. This article will review historical differences between hospital-acquired and community-acquired MRSA pneumonia, as well as, clinical features of, diagnosis and treatment of MRSA pneumonia.
Keywords: Panton–Valentine leukocidin; community-acquired pneumonia; hospital-acquired pneumonia; linezolid; methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; vancomycin; ventilator-associated pneumonia.