Faculty Publications and Presentations

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Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Chemistry


This article was published in Answers Research Journal 8 (2015):391-401. Permission has been granted by the Editor of Answers Research Journal (https://answersingenesis.org/answers/research-journal/) to upload this contribution to Liberty University’s scholarly repository. All Rights Secured. No copy of this file may be sold or reprinted in whole or in part. To purchase the entire journal issue that contains this contribution, please visit the website of the publication.


Staphylococcus aureus infections are a common cause of disease, particularly in colonized persons. Recently, a series of published articles have reported that community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) strains are evolving and increasingly becoming prevalent in households while health care acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) is declining in the USA. The changing superbugs have often been used as an example of evolution in action. Although MRSA infections have become increasingly reported in the community, population-based studies of students preparing for the health professions having S. aureus and MRSA colonization are lacking. During the 2014–2015 school year 544 students were tested for MRSA carriage at Liberty University. A subset of the students, classified as having clinical exposure, had a 20%+ MRSA carriage rate which is 5–10 times the national average. We have seen a changing profile from HA-MRSA to CA-MRSA. This is potentially dangerous because the new strains are more virulent and aggressive. CA-MRSA is somewhat difficult to define—but these bacteria are mostly associated with their genetic and antibiotic profile (i.e. Cipro resistance), toxin genes, and place of acquisition. There are genetic variations of S. aureus strains among students of tightly knit groups: households, dorms, and other close living quarters. The bacteria are ping-ponging around among students, changing as they go. Since the majority of the students in the nursing and biology courses are looking to pursue a career in medicine, this sampling was beneficial to inform students, researchers, medical workers, and others if they are S. aureus and MRSA carriers, so they can take preventative measures to reduce the risk of infection.