World MRSA Day

What’s that Staph? It’s serious Staph…

World MRSA Day is observed on the 2nd of October each year. The purpose of the day is to educate the wider community as to the significance that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has on health and health care systems around the world.

What is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a part of normal skin flora; the bacteria is not usually a cause for concern. S. aureus can cause infection; however, it is readily treated with regular antibiotics.1 MRSA, however, is a strain that is resistant to an antibiotic called methicillin which makes treatment difficult . MRSA can be multi-drug resistant in addition to methicillin and is an important pathogen of concern, monitored by health care systems around the world.1

Mode of Transmission

There are two modes of transmission: Direct and Indirect. Direct contact is when an individual encounters MRSA by contaminated hands from an infected person and Indirect contact is when an individual touches a surface contaminated with MRSA. MRSA can be found in the nose, throat or on the skin of carriers. In immunocompromised individuals there is a heightened risk of infection with an increase of morbidity and mortality.1


The prevention of MRSA infection involves several strategies:

  • Identification of carriers which involves screening of high-risk patient groups
  • Diligent hygiene practises, such as handwashing and use of alcohol-based hand rubs
  • Correct utilisation of personal protective equipment
  • Suitable cleaning and sanitisation of surfaces and medical equipment
  • Good antimicrobial stewardship practices, to ensure antimicrobials are prescribed and administered correctly

Unfortunately, due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare facilities around the world suspended screening programs for MRSA which has led to an increase in hospital acquired MRSA infections. The increase was made worse due to staff shortages and increases in patient loads.3

Automation of tests, such as MRSA screening, is one tool that can be used to expedite testing and reduce the burden on busy laboratories. CCS’s APAS Independence, instrument reads, interprets, and sorts microbiology culture plates helping to free up microbiologist time within the laboratory.

Learn more about the APAS Independence

APAS Independence is FDA cleared

The Infection Control analysis modules utilise intelligent imaging algorithms to detect and automatically report relevant bacterial growth on chromogenic culture plate media for the screening of pathogens, such as MRSA to streamline infection control practices. The negative results can be automatically sent to the physician with positive cultures able to be assessed earlier by microbiologists.5

Secondly, the APAS-AMR analysis module is designed to utilise artificial intelligence to automatically detect zones of inhibition in antimicrobial susceptibility tests using agars. This occurs by measuring the zones around the antimicrobial discs and providing a susceptibility result in line with global guidelines. This allows for timely treatment of patients with the appropriate antimicrobial and improved antimicrobial stewardship.

1 SA Health, 2022. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. SA Health. [Accessed 15 September 2022]. Available here

2 SA Health, 2022. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). SA Health. [Accessed 15 September 2022]. Available here

3 Sepsis Alliance. 2022. Why Are We Talking About MRSA? World MRSA Day. [Accessed 22 September 2022]. Available here

4 Clever Culture Systems, 2022. Clever Culture Systems Intelligent Automation in Microbiology Labs. [online] Clever Culture Systems. [Accessed 29 September 2022Available here

5 Clever Culture Systems, 2022. APAS Independence Analysis Module. [ebook] Adelaide, Australia. [Accessed 28 September 2022].Available here

6 Clever Culture Systems, 2022. APAS-AMR Analysis Module. [ebook] Adelaide, Australia: Clever Culture Systems. [Accessed 29 September 2022]. Available here


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