Healthcare-Associated MRSA


Healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA),previously termedHospital-associated MRSA,is MRSA that is contracted within the healthcare setting. By definition, an individual with HA-MRSA meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Patient in a hospital or nursing home in the past year.
  • Resident in another type of healthcare facility in the past year.
  • Patient has an indwelling catheter or other indwelling medical device.

Potent Antibiotic Resistance 

HA-MRSA carries a potent gene for antibiotic resistance. Therefore:

  • HA-MRSA is resistant to most oral antibiotics.  
  • IV antibiotics are usually required. 

Serious MRSA Infections 

  • Individuals with HA-MRSA often have chronic medical conditions that weaken the body’s ability to fight infection; therefore, serious infections are more common with HA-MRSA. 
  • Serious infections, also known as invasive infections, are infections that invade or attack the body. Invasive infections affect the entire body, and are potentially life threatening. 
  • It is estimated that 85% of MRSA related hospitalizations and deaths are secondary to HA-MRSA. For details see “How Serious Is MRSA?”

Diagnosis of HA-MRSA

Information on the diagnosis of invasive infections is found under “Diagnosis / Testing for MRSA.” The links below will take you directly to specific infections. 

Treatment for HA-MRSA