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Staph bacteria are commonly found on the skin and in the nose of healthy people. These bacteria can cause mild infections, such as pimples and boils, or serious infections, such as pneumonia, surgical wound infections, or bloodstream infections. Traditionally, these infections have been treated with penicillin or related antibiotics. Over the years, staph bacteria have become resistant to these antibiotics.
VISA (Vancomycin intermediate Staphylococcus aureus) and VRSA (Vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are bacteria that have developed resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin and, therefore, cannot be treated with vancomycin. While VISA and VRSA infections are rare, they can be serious and difficult to treat.
VISA and VRSA are spread by close skin contact with an infected person or by contact with an infectious person’s wound bandages or drainage.
Your risk is higher if you:
See your health care provider. Your health care provider may collect a sample from the infected area and send it to a laboratory. Laboratory tests can determine if you have VISA or VRSA infection.
Your health care provider will determine which antibiotics would be effective.
All information presented is intended for public use. For more information, please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site:
This page was last reviewed August 11, 2009.