MRSA is an acronym that stands for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is caused by Staphylococcus aureus..
Unlike scabies infection which is caused by mites, Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium which is causes skin leisons such as boils, pimples, impetigo, skin abscesses, and is a common cause of wound infections. Staphylococcus aureus are usually found in the nose and skin of healthy people. However it may not affect them in any way. Thus they can be called as 'carriers’' who may transmit the bacteria when they come into close contact with a person who is not well or debilitated, or who has an immune system which is weak and vulnerable.
While scabies affects a person at skin level, MRSA affects them at deeper organ levels. When Staphylococcus aureus gets into the bloodstream and affects the internal organs of a person it may lead to some serious conditions listed below:
- blood poisoning (septicaemia)
- lung infection (pneumonia)
- bone infection (osteomyelitis)
- heart valve infection (endocarditis)
Staphylococcus aureus that has grown resistant to methicillin, an antibiotic, is referred to as MRSA. By use of the word resistant what is meant here is that methicillin is no longer effective in destroying Staphylococcus aureus. It is to be noted that infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus can be treated with antibiotics and it is only MRSA that is not killed by methicillin.
Skin infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus are visible to the eye like scabies infections.
- They may look like sores that are caused by spider bites
- They may look like boils or abscesses
- They may look like a cut that is swollen, hot, and filled with pus;
- They may resemble blisters
Infections caused by MRSA are also treated with antibiotics like all other infections caused by a bacterium. The difficulty lies in identifying the correct antibiotic that may kill the bacterium as the choice of antibiotics is limited. Further antibiotics which kill MRSA are given directly through the vein.
Unlike scabies diagnosis, MRSA diagnosis is not very difficult. Diagnosis consists of testing a sample of blood, urine, body fluids or a swab of a wound at a laboratory. If Staphylococcus aureus is detected then a battery of more tests are conducted to find out the antibiotic that could kill the bacterium. The same procedure applies to MRSA also the only difference being the limitation of choice of antibiotics.
MRSA usually spreads through skin-to-skin contact between persons or by the use of personal clothes such as sheets, towels, etc. It is interesting to note that Scabies, and infections caused by MRSAare similar in many ways.
Both Scabies and infections caused by MRSA, typically affect the skin. Scabies, like MRSA infection, is also spread through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Sores are common to both Scabies and MRSA caused infections but while the latter is caused by the bacterium, the sores in the case of Scabies are due to scratching due to itching.
Thus the sores in the case of Scabies are not direct fallout of the infection unlike MRSA. Just like infections caused by MRSA, Scabies is more likely to affect people with a weak immune system. Of course, there are differences too. For instance, Scabies is characterized by intense itching which is absent in MRSA infections.
Similarly, while MRSA infections are caused by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium, Scabies is caused by Sarcoptes scabei, a mite. Scabies is characterized by pimple like eruptions, burrows or rash of the skin, whereas in MRSA infections no such burrows or rashes are found. As seen above MRSA may laed to complications such as septicemia. Pneumonia etc. Thankfully, Scabies does not lead to any such complications.