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Skin and Soft Tissue Infections Caused by Community-Acquired Methillicin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) are a source of significant illness and accounted for over 2 million visits to emergency room departments in the United States in 2004. While most infections are minor and do not require hospitalization, some can be life-threatening—particularly for people living with HIV.

The majority of outpatient SSTI are caused by gram-positive bacteria, typically Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species. In the past, SSTI caused by these organisms were reliably treated with beta-lactam antibiotics (penicillins and cephalosporins). Resistance to these antibiotics was uncommon and was typically only seen in infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus that had acquired a gene conferring resistance to all beta-lactams, including the drug methicillin. These resistant infections typically only occurred in hospitalized or recently-hospitalized individuals.

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Copyright © 2007 -BETA, Publisher. All rights reserved to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Reproduced by permission. Reproduction of this article (other than one copy for personal reference) must be cleared through BETA: PO Box 426182, San Francisco, CA 94142-6182. Tel: 415 487 8060 Fax: 415 487 8069 San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Mail SFAF..

Information in this article was accurate in June 10, 2007. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.