Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been recognized as an in-hospital acquired pathogen responsible for an increasing number of cases of hospital and ventilator associated pneumonia. However, this previously considered a purely nosocomial pathogen has been diagnosed with increasing frequency at hospital admission and new infections and outbreaks have been reported in individuals from the community with absence of risk factors. This new strain of MRSA is currently recognized in the literature as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). The spectrum of infections due to CA-MRSA can range from simple cutaneous abscesses and soft tissue infections to septic shock and severe necrotizing pneumonia. CA-MRSA pneumonia usually presents in a previously healthy individual with the presence of a previous influenza like illness followed by shortness of breath, bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, sepsis and prompt clinical detriment and death if no proper treatment is established soon. The objective of this review is to familiarize the clinician with CA-MRSA as cause of community acquired pneumonia, review the epidemiological, clinical, microbiological characteristics, in order to minimize delays in the administration of the adequate antimicrobial treatment to improve patients outcomes of this deadly condition.
Keywords: Pneumonia, MRSA, microbiology, diagnosis, antimicrobials