Serious/Invasive MRSA Infections


Serious/invasive infections are infections that invade or attack the body. Invasive infections affect the entire body, and are potentially life threatening. 


  • Invasive infections occur in both community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) and healthcare-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA); however, they are more commonplace with HA-MRSA. This is because individuals with HA-MRSA often have chronic medical conditions that weaken the body’s ability to fight infection.
  • Invasive infections are treated in the hospital setting by a physician knowledgeable in their treatment, oftentimes an Infectious Disease specialist. 
  • Comments on treatment are limited to a broad overview, because many variables are involved in treating invasive infections.


List of Invasive MRSA Infections 

Invasive infections include:

  • Skin Infections, including Cellulitis, Abscess, Necrotizing fasciitis, and Gangrene.
    • Cellulitis and abscesses may be small and localized, or progress into serious/invasive infections.
  • Pneumonia, including Flesh-eating or Necrotizing Pneumonia
  • Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
  • Joint Infection
  • Bone Infection (Osteomyelitis)
  • Heart Infection (Endocarditis)
  • Bloodstream Infection


Antibiotics for Invasive MRSA Infections 

  • IV antibiotics are usually required to treat invasive infections. This is especially true for infections caused by HA-MRSA, because most oral antibiotics are not effective against HA-MRSA. 
  • Vancomycin is the most common antibiotic used to treat invasive MRSA, though other antibiotics are often added for a synergistic (additive) effect.

Removal of Foreign Devices

Catheters and other foreign devices are removed whenever possible. This is because:  

  • Foreign objects inside the body provide a nidus (nest where bacteria congregate) onto which MRSA bacteria form a strong attachment.  
  • It is more difficult to kill MRSA bacteria attached to a foreign object.

Follow-Up Care

Invasive infections are treated in the hospital setting; therefore, follow-up care will be dictated by the individual needs of each patient.