Cutaneous community-acquired and hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


  • The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

  • Funding sources: None.

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Kanade Shinkai, MD, PhD, Department of Dermatology, University of California, 1701 Divisadero Street, Box 0316, San Francisco, CA 94143-0316, or email:


The clinical presentation of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection ranges from asymptomatic colonization to cutaneous and invasive involvement. This review discusses the cutaneous presentations of community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) and hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) that one may encounter in the hospital or outpatient setting. Cutaneous CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA are often clinically indistinguishable, although they have different epidemiologic profiles and virulence factors. Bacterial culture is necessary for diagnosis and guides treatment, as infection with CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA require distinct clinical management. Guidelines for surgical interventions and antibiotic treatment of CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA will be discussed. Strategies for MRSA decolonization and prevention of further spread will also be reviewed.