DrFantastic
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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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Quick question which is bugging me about antibiotics;

why is MRSA called methicillin resistant s. aureus?

Does this mean it is only resistant to methicillin? If so why is it such a huge deal?

Do all "xxx-cillin" antibiotics contain methicillin?

Appreciated!
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Spencer Wells
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Methicillin resistant = flucloxacillin resistant (which is the usual first-line treatment for S aureus infection.) The penicillins (the class of antibiotic containing benzylpenicillin, flucloxacillin, methicillin, amoxicillin, ticarcillin, piperacillin and many more) contain a beta-lactam ring and one of the many ways that certain bacteria become resistant to penicillins is by producing a beta-lactamase enzyme that breaks down the penicillin, inactivating it.

MRSA is so named for historical reasons - methicillin is one of the first-generation penicillins that was used in the 1950s and 60s, and case reports of Staphylococcal species resistant to methicillin started emerging in the 60s. The name stuck but our antibiotics moved on.
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