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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (// or //) refers to a group of gram-positive bacteria that are genetically distinct from other strains of Staphylococcus aureus. MRSA is responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. MRSA is any strain of S. aureus that has developed, through horizontal gene transfer and natural selection, multiple drug resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics. β-lactam antibiotics are a broad spectrum group which includes some penams – penicillin derivatives such as methicillin and oxacillin, and cephems such as the cephalosporins. Strains unable to resist these antibiotics are classified as methicillin-susceptible S. aureus, or MSSA.
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