What Is the Difference Between Hospital-Acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) and Community-Associated MRSA (CA-MRSA)?
There are several main differences between hospital-acquired MRSA and community- acquired MRSA: • CA-MRSA is less frequently associated with hospitalization whereas HA-MRSA is more frequently associated with a hospital stay. • CA-MRSA has less drug resistance, so more classes of antibiotics can be used against it as compared to HA-MRSA. • CA-MRSA contains a toxin that can cause tissue death and destroys white blood cells, and HA-MRSA does not usually have this. A special test looking at the genetics of the bacteria can be done to distinguish between HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA, but this is not done commonly so it is based on clinical findings and the definition provided below.4 The definition of CA-MRSA is the following: 1 • Diagnosis of MRSA was made at the clinic or within the first 48 hours of admission to a hospital • No previous infection with MRSA • No previous history within the last year of being hospitalized, in a nursing home, or hospice, or receiving dialysis or surgery • No permane