MRSA is an acronym used for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium has become resistant to methicillin as well as many other antibiotics, creating many serious conditions.

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Does MRSA Affect Your Immune System?

Staphylococcus infection can lead to frequent skin infections. However, sometimes they can lead to other serious infections like pneumonia, sepsis and other infections of the blood circulation. It is particularly witnessed in hospitalized patients, whose immune systems are already compromised due to illnesses.

MRSA may cause frequent infections. Though, MRSA may not affect the immune system directly, surely the frequent infections make the immune system weaker, and so do the antibiotics.

When our body is exposed to an organism or a pathogen, the body will fight it and then remember how the immune system responded. When next time the body comes into contact with the same pathogen, it will remember how it fought the last time and fight easily with the infection.

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However, in a staph infection, it may so happen that the body is repeatedly attacked by the staph bacteria, but it fails to form a strong memory of the pathogen. This makes it difficult for the body to fight the repeated infections and the body gets attacked many more times, as a result. The immune system fails to respond to these staph infections and thus fails in fighting it off. The staph cells cheat or trick the t cells (the ones that fight the infection) and does not allow them to form a good defense against the staph bacteria. As a result, the body cannot remember the pathogen and fails to create a long-term immunity against it. Thus, the body remains susceptible to that infection throughout life.

The staph bacteria have undergone an evolution and have started making an enzyme that protects their walls from degradation. Due to this degradation, the immune system cannot detect the bacteria properly and hence, cannot remember it properly the next time the bacteria attack the body.

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Signs And Symptoms Of MRSA

A skin infection due to staph bacteria usually begins with red bumps, that re swollen. They are painful and may look like pimples. The area that is affected by the infection may feel quite warm to the touch. The affected area may be filled with a fluid like pus or any other. The affected person may also have fever. These affected areas can very rapidly turn into abscesses that may be very painful and deep. These abscesses may be needed to be drained surgically. The bacteria many times stay restricted to the skin.

But they may also invade deep down and can cause serious, life threatening infections in other parts of the body like heart, lungs, bones, joints and even the blood stream.

Causes Of MRSA

Staphylococcus bacteria are normally known as staph bacteria. There are different types of staph aureus bacteria. These are usually present in the nose or on the skin of a person who is otherwise healthy. They generally do not cause any harm, unless they find a way to get inside your body through a scrape, cut or a wound. Even after that, they do not cause any problems in many individuals. People can be carriers of staph bacteria without actually showing any symptoms, throughout their lives.

A thoughtless and unnecessary use of antibiotics has given rise to many drug resistant strains of bacteria. These bacteria quickly learn the mechanism and start resisting other antibiotics as well.

Treatment Of MRSA

Both the types of MRSA - HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA - still show a response to certain types of antibiotics

In some cases, the use of antibiotics may not be needed at all. The doctors, for example, can drain an abscess that is superficial in place of treating the infection with antibiotics.

MRSA may affect the immune system, as the affected person is susceptible to frequent infections due to MRSA.

References:

https://news.uchicago.edu/story/staphylococcus-aureus-bacteria-turns-immune-system-against-itself

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: April 3, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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