Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
Volume 24 | Issue 1 | Year 2020

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Intensive Care Unit Setting of India: A Review of Clinical Burden, Patterns of Prevalence, Preventive Measures, and Future Strategies

Yatin Mehta1, Ashit Hegde2, Rajesh Pande3, Kapil G Zirpe4, Varsha Gupta5, Jaishid Ahdal6, Amit Qamra7, Salman Motlekar8, Rishi Jain9

1Institute of Critical Care and Anaesthesiology, Medanta—The Medicity, Gurugram, Haryana, India
2Department of Critical Care, PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3Department of Critical Care, Dr BL Kapur Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi, India
4Department of Neuro Trauma Unit, Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, Maharashtra, India
5Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Chandigarh, India
6–9Department of Medical Affairs, Wockhardt Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Corresponding Author: Jaishid Ahdal, Department of Medical Affairs, Wockhardt Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Phone: +91-9930696711, e-mail:

How to cite this article Mehta Y, Hegde A, Pande R, Zirpe KG, Gupta V, Ahdal J, et al. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Intensive Care Unit Setting of India: A Review of Clinical Burden, Patterns of Prevalence, Preventive Measures, and Future Strategies. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020;24(1):55–62.

Source of support: This medical writing-up was funded by Wockhardt Limited and supported by Dr Pratishtha Banga

Conflict of interest: Dr Jaishid Ahdal, Dr Amit Qamra, Dr Rishi Jain and Mr Salman Motlekar are employees of Wockhardt Ltd. Other authors report no conflicts of interest


Aim: The aim of this review article is not only to analyze the clinical burden of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in intensive care unit (ICU) setting of India, along with the patterns of prevalence and its prevention measures, but also to focus on the new anti-MRSA research molecules which are in late stage of clinical development.

Background: Methicillin resistance is reported to be present in 13–47% of Staphylococcus aureus infections in India. Therapeutic options to combat MRSA are becoming less, because of emerging resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics. Intensive care units are the harbinger of multidrug-resistant organisms including MRSA and are responsible for its spread within the hospital. The emergence of MRSA in ICUs is associated with poor clinical outcomes, high morbidity, mortality, and escalating treatment costs. There is an urgency to bolster the antibiotic pipeline targeting MRSA. The research efforts for antibiotic development need to match with the pace of emergence of resistance, and new antibiotics are needed to control the impending threat of untreatable MRSA infections.

Review results: Fortunately, several potential antibiotic agents are in the pipeline and the future of MRSA management appears reassuring.

Clinical significance: The authors believe that this knowledge may help form the basis for strategic allocation of current healthcare resources and the future needs.

Keywords: Antibiotic resistance, Hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Intensive care unit, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus carrier, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus pipeline, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus transmission.


Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the Staphylococcus aureus isolate which is resistant to all currently available β-lactam antibiotics, namely, penicillins, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. The emergence of MRSA is associated with significantly poor clinical outcomes, high morbidity, mortality, and treatment costs.1 It is becoming increasingly difficult to combat MRSA because of emerging resistance to other antibiotic classes severely limiting the available treatment options. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus is increasing at an alarming rate in both hospital and community settings. Hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA) is a prominent nosocomial pathogen associated with prolonged hospital stay, indwelling percutaneous catheters, dialysis, mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy, and patients who are debilitated, elderly, and immunocompromised.2 Its remarkable increase in the intensive care units (ICUs) is a cause of concern even in countries where effective infection control measures are routinely implemented. A World Health Organization review revealed that in low- and middle-income countries the frequency of ICU-acquired infection is at least two to three times higher than in high-income countries.3 In fact, the prevalence rate of MRSA is recognized as a marker for the quality of care and is considered as the benchmark for hospital infection-control practices.4

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus causes a wide range of infections commonly involving the skin, soft tissue, bone, joints, bloodstream, urinary tract, respiratory tract, surgical wounds, and device-associated infections such as indwelling catheters or prosthetic devices. Its range of clinical manifestations include common skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI) boils, carbuncles, impetigo, cellulitis, and wound infections to the more serious manifestations such as ventilator-associated pneumonia, community-acquired pneumonia, necrotizing pneumonia, necrotizing fasciitis, and sepsis.5 Methicillin-resistant S. aureus can thrive for months in a hostile environment and is thereby transmitted from surfaces long after it is initially deposited. A battery of potent virulence factors contribute to the success of S. aureus as a pathogen, including its capacity to persist as a commensal, frequently developing resistance to multiple antimicrobial agents and its multiple virulence determinants.6 It spreads through cross-infection from colonized patient-contaminated environmental surfaces and the colonized healthcare workers (HCWs) who act as reservoirs for the spread of MRSA to other patients, other HCWs, and the community. The major drivers of the emergence of MRSA resistance include the following:7

Furthermore, health sector in India is under-resourced, which leads to conditions favorable for perpetuation of drug resistance.

The scope of this literature review article is HA-MRSA, with a focus on the ICU infections. The authors believe that knowledge pertaining to its prevalence, risk factors, and emerging treatment modalities may help form the basis for strategic allocation of the healthcare resources, at present and in the future. The objectives of this review article are as follows:


Methicillin was developed in the late 1950s and is a semisynthetic derivative of penicillin. It was developed by modifying the penicillin structure which conferred resistance to penicillinase. The mechanism of methicillin is inhibition of bacterial cell wall synthesis, like other penicillins. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus isolates were notified within 1 year of its introduction. Since then, the introduction of other antibiotics has provided a selective pressure for the evolution of new and diverse MRSA clones. In 1968, the United States recorded the first outbreak of MRSA and soon thereafter resistant strains were recovered from other parts of the world. Since 1987, the prevalence of MRSA is reported to have increased close to 25-fold in the ICUs of the United States.

Some theories have been proposed for evolutionary descent and population biology of MRSA. Robinson et al.8 have postulated that all the major MRSA clones could have evolved from one common ancestor, S. aureus phage type 80/81. Kreiswirth et al.9 proposed a similar theory of single ancestral origin of S. aureus strain that acquired mecA, but few other studies10 have shown that some MRSAs are very divergent, implying that SCCmec has been transferred between different S. aureus lineages. Enright et al.11 demonstrated that MRSA clones evolved from five different groups of related genotypes or clonal complexes, each arising from a distinct ancestral genotype. The drug resistance of MRSA still continues to evolve. Historically, this infection was confined only to the healthcare setting, then the community-acquired MRSA emerged, and the current status is that the boundary between hospital-onset and community-acquired MRSA infections has become blurred.


Methicillin-resistant S. aureus is associated with poor clinical outcomes in ICUs. It poses a significant burden on hospital infection control practices. Furthermore, the ICU is a critical place for the wider dissemination of MRSA, since patients are admitted from and discharged to different healthcare settings such as wards and other hospitals. Methicillin resistance is reported to be 13–47% of S. aureus infections in India. Patients in an ICU, especially a surgical ICU, have wounds, drains, and invasive monitoring devices that cause skin breach which further increases the risk of developing infections. Additionally, impaired neutrophil properties due to conditions such as chronic liver disease, diabetes, or steroid therapy may render these patients susceptible to MRSA. Furthermore, specific defects associated with granulocyte function, such as decreased chemotaxis and impaired phagocytosis-associated burst activity, have been documented with liver disease and diabetes. Table 1 shows the prevalence of MRSA (as a percentage of all S. aureus infections) in ICUs reported by different studies in India. Different rates reported from different regions may be due to varying proportions of underlying condition: for instance, MRSA rates are reportedly higher in oncology patients owing to higher antibiotic usage, differing local infection control practices, and pathogen-specific characteristics of the circulating clones. Table 2 depicts the percentage of MRSA isolates from various clinical specimens reported by studies in India.


The potential agents for MRSA transmission are colonized HCWs and contaminated hand-touch surfaces.27 The main mode of transmission is through direct contact with discharge, soiled areas, wounds, or physical contact with MRSA-afflicted patients, carriers, and their environment. Factors increasing the chances of transmission are close skin-to-skin contact, breaks in the skin (indwelling catheters or wounds), crowded ICUs, and poor personal hygiene. In the resource-poor settings such as India, MRSA poses a serious threat whereby the associated morbidity and mortality are more than that seen in resource-rich setting of the developed nations. When an infection occurs after a breach of the body’s defence of the skin, the pathogen is often endogenous. Staphylococcus aureus from a nasal colonization can be transferred to skin and other body areas. Hence, colonization with MRSA often precedes infection by MRSA. The connection between transmission of MRSA from an exogenous source via hands, equipment, and the hospital environment and subsequent endogenous carriage of MRSA is the primary consideration of infection prevention and control consideration for the elimination of MRSA transmission in hospital setting.28

Data pertaining to MRSA transmission dynamics continue to be scarce. An Indian study explored the MRSA transmission dynamics in ICU using mechanistic statistical models. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus infection data were collected for 50 months retrospectively. A total of 72 MRSA infections were observed during this study period, corresponding to an average of 1.44 cases/month, and nearly 78% of these infections were nosocomial. Only 4.2% of the patients were MRSA-positive when admitted. The transmission rate was estimated to be 0.094/day using the structured hidden Markov model. Thus, high transmission rates are prevalent in ICUs in India. Another method of measuring transmission is MRSA ICU-acquisition rates, which are calculated as the total number of imported or ICU-acquired cases divided by the total number of ICU admissions over the same time period, respectively. Koessler et al.29 reported an MRSA acquisition rate of 3.8% during the hospital stay.

Table 1: Prevalence of MRSA infection in ICUs in India
Serial numberRegionYearStudy designSample sizePrevalence (%)Author
1Pan India2008Retrospective13,97543INSAR Group12
2Pan India2009Retrospective12,33547
3Delhi2010Surveillance43Wattal et al.13
4Punjab201224820.7Jindal et al.14
6Bengaluru2013Prospective7023Eshwara et al.15
7Chennai2010Retrospective40–50 of all Staphylococcus aureus isolatesGopalakrishnan and Sureshkumar16
8Punjab2013Prospective40022.5Datta et al.17
9Tamil Nadu2006Retrospective90631.1Rajaduraipandi et al.18
10Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru1996Surveillance study13,61032Mehta et al.19

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; ICU, intensive care unit

Table 2: Percentage of MRSA isolates from various clinical specimens reported by studies in India
Clinical specimenTsering et al.20 (Sikkim) (n = 827) 2011 (%)Tiwari et al.21 (Bhubaneshwar) (n = 204) 2011 (%)Khan et al.22 (Lucknow) (n = 350) 2017 (%)Arora et al.23 (Punjab) (n = 6,743) 2010 (%)Pai et al.24 (Mangaluru) (n = 237) 2010 (%)Kaur et al.25 (Pune) (n = 335) 2015 (%)INSAR study26 (n = 26,310) 2013 (%)
Blood50  4.2931.622.22  5.5648
Urine45.8320.543.7110.842.8  5.3252
Sputum56.5211.140.0229.4 (respiratory samples)  7.6941 (respiratory samples)

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus


Healthcare providers working in proximity with MRSA-infected patients are colonized in the course of their work. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus colonization is the most important risk factor for subsequent MRSA infection. Furthermore, if MRSA carriage is present at more than one site, then it strongly predicts the development of MRSA infection during ICU admission. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus carriage rates among professionally exposed individuals can diminish the efficacy of hospital infection control programs.

Due to the opportunistic nature of S. aureus, carriage may evolve into a wide range of infections. Singh et al.30 reported carriage rates from North India and showed a higher proportion of MRSA carriage among the nurses (73.3%) as compared with laboratory technicians, doctors, and ward attendants, although the difference between these groups was statistically insignificant. This finding is similar to the result reported by Kalyani et al.31 Furthermore, a study from Northeast India32 showed that carriage rates were highest from the orthopedics department, followed by those in the surgery and the gynecology departments.

The incidence of nasal carriage among HCWs as reported by various studies from India is enumerated in Table 3. The high carriage rates reported from India reflect the irrational usage of antimicrobials in our community.


Effective control of MRSA infection necessitates a thorough knowledge and analysis of its risk factors. This knowledge can also help guide the empirical antibiotic choices, enhance infection control, prevent delay in prescribing the suitable antibiotic, thereby reducing mortality and morbidity in the ICU. It also prevents overuse of empirical broad-spectrum antibiotics which can perpetuate MRSA and contribute to antibiotic-related complications. Callejo-Torre et al.37 had reported in a multicenter cohort study of 69,894 patients that the risk factors on ICU admission included male gender, urgent surgery, trauma critical patient, immunosuppression, admitted from other ICUs, hospital ward or long-term facility, and SSTI. However, they also mentioned that clinical and demographic risk factors should not be used to accurately prescribe empirical anti-MRSA treatment.

Table 3: Incidence of nasal carriage among HCWs as reported by various studies from India
Serial numberRegionYearSample sizeCarriage prevalence (%)Author
1Punjab20172007.5Singh et al.30
2Assam2013315Males—54.28Rongpharpi et al.32
3South India20092001.8Mathanraj et al.33
4Madurai200910013Vinodhkumaradithyaa et al.34
5Manipal200520522Shobha et al.35
6Mangaluru20132002.5Radhakrishna et al.36

HCW, healthcare worker

A dose–effect relationship has been established between the prescription of antimicrobial drugs and MRSA infections.38 Having said that, the local epidemiology and resistance profile of bacteria causing infections is important while making the choice of empirical antibiotics. Following is the list of risk factors for developing MRSA infections:


The resistance patterns of prevalent MRSA strains in any setup are liable to continuous changes over a period, owing to changes in antibiotic prescription patterns, infection control measures, and awareness among HCWs. As a result of increasing antibiotic pressure in hospitals, new strains with higher antibiotic resistance emerge and they replace the previous strains. Different patterns of antibiotic resistance have been reported from different regions of India. Table 4 depicts the antibiotic resistance rates (percentage) of MRSA as reported from India.

Arora et al.23 reported the percentage of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains among MRSA to be 73%. In the various reports from different parts of India, the burden of such strains ranged from 23.2% to 63.6%.

When linezolid was launched, researchers predicted that resistance would never develop to this molecule owing to its unique mechanism of action (prevention of 50S subunit of prokaryotic ribosome to complex with the 30S initiation complex, thus inhibiting protein synthesis at the initiation step). But Rajaduraipandi et al.18 reported 2.4% of linezolid-resistant S. aureus from South India in 2006. Furthermore, Thool et al.42 reported a 24% incidence of linezolid resistance in the orthopedic patients (12 of 50 patients), which reflected the nosocomial spread and abuse of this antibiotic. Similarly, multiple studies across India have also reported linezolid resistance among enterococcus.43 The highly emerging resistance of linezolid is a matter of great concern as it was considered to be the last resort for MDR bacteria. On similar lines, high resistance to vancomycin has been reported from different parts of the country. A study conducted in Northeast India44 evaluating 827 clinical specimens (including pus, sputum, urine, blood, and throat) screened for MRSA reported high resistance to vancomycin (79.83% resistant) as well as imipenem (64.60% resistant).

D’Souza et al.45 performed antibiotic susceptibility testing and correlated it with SCCmec characterization. They found that of the SCCmec III strains, 38% were MDR and the rest were susceptible only to chloramphenicol, rifampin, vancomycin, and linezolid. Among the SCCmec IV strains, 83% were susceptible to many antimicrobial classes, and the rest were susceptible to three classes, none of them being MDR. Among the SCCmec V strains, 64% were susceptible to many antimicrobial classes, 24% were susceptible to three classes, and 12% were MDR. Furthermore, as community and hospital strains intermingle, there is a growing concern that highly virulent community strains that affect healthy individuals will become less susceptible to antibiotics.


Havey et al.46 identified in their retrospective cohort study (n = 100) that infection with S. aureus was one of the predictors of prolonged duration of treatment among ICU admitted patients who have bloodstream infections. The virulence determinants of MRSA have continually evolved, and hence the surveillance of clinical and microbiological parameters have become an essential component of infection control practices including the choice of empirical antibiotic. The factors driving the choice of antibiotic in treating MRSA include comorbidities, allergies, local epidemiology, antibiotic susceptibility pattern, safety of antibiotic, and drug interactions.

Antibiotic selection must be based on host, microbiological, and pharmacological factors. Institution-specific data, such as susceptibility patterns and local antibiotic use, also need to be evaluated. The antimicrobial therapy should be individualized based upon culture and sensitivity results.

Table 4: Antibiotic resistance rates of MRSA as reported from various studies in India
Serial numberAntibioticKaur et al.25 (n = 36)INSAR study26 (n = 26,310)Kali et al.39 (n = 102)Saikia et al.40 (n = 96)Abbas et al.26 (n = 143)Arora et al.23 (n = 250)Bhutia et al. (n = 15)
1Gentamicine10058.366.191.546.1572.2  20
2Rifampin/rifampicin  27.78   0
3Ceftaroline   0
4Oxacillin (cefoxitin)100100
7Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole  2555.685.496.8832.16100
9Vancomycin   0
10Teicoplanin   016.08
11Telavancin   0
12Tigecycline   0
14Daptomycin   5.56
16Linezolid   2.78
17Quinupristin/dalfopristin   5.56

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Glycopeptides, including vancomycin, are the mainstay of the treatment of MRSA. But evidence suggests toward a phenomenon of higher vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs), also known as “MIC creep.” The CLSI recently reduced the cutoff value of vancomycin sensitivity toward MRSA from an MIC of ≤4 to an MIC of ≤2. Thereafter, much data have emerged demonstrating increasing rates of treatment failure and higher mortality among patients treated with vancomycin when MICs are higher, even if those MICs are within the currently accepted range of susceptibility (≤2).47

Linezolid, tigecycline, and daptomycin are the other alternatives to vancomycin in the event of adverse reactions or resistance. On the contrary, newer drugs such as tedizolid, telavancin, and dalbavancin, which are being used for the treatment of MRSA infections also possess higher efficacy. However, linezolid resistance has already been reported from India. It is important that treating physicians utilize these options judiciously and de-escalate to β-lactams once the culture sensitivity results reveal a methicillin-sensitive S. aureus isolate instead of MRSA. Preservation of glycopeptides and linezolid for use only in MRSA cases should be encouraged. Table 5 mentions various options currently available in India for managing MRSA.


The swift evolution of MRSA has created new challenges for drug development, healthcare systems, and for governments. There is a sense of urgency to augment the existing antibiotic pipeline. The late-stage clinical pipeline for MRSA worldwide includes an array of treatments aimed at acute bacterial skin and skin-structure infections and community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. Few of these are first-in-class agents. The others belong to drug classes such as quinolones, macrolide derivative, and a tetracycline derivative. One such promising pipeline compound is levonadifloxacin, belonging to a novel subclass of quinolone. It is unique because it is a broad spectrum bactericidal anti-MRSA drug derived from benzoquinolizine fluoroquinolone. It has a differentiated mechanism of action against MRSA. It targets key bacterial enzyme DNA gyrase along with topoisomerase IV leading to high potency even against those MRSA which are levofloxacin and moxifloxacin resistant. It also inhibits a staphylococcal efflux pump Nor A, which causes resistance to quinolones. In this manner, levonadifloxacin overcomes three well-known mechanisms of resistance to quinolones in MRSA, namely, Nor A, mutations in Topo IV, and DNA gyrase. Furthermore, levonadifloxacin is also active against MRSA biofilms . The various investigational drugs in the late phase of clinical development for MRSA are presented in Table 6.55


Antimicrobial resistance is a phenomenon inevitably related to microbial evolution and antibiotic use. In this context, the evolutionary success of MRSA has been remarkable. Methicillin-resistant S. aureus has been considered the prototype of multiresistant nosocomial pathogens. It is considered a major public health issue worldwide and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. In developing countries such as India, it is being increasingly reported in both healthcare and community-associated infections. The prevalence of MRSA is reported to be as high as 13–47% in various regions of India. It tends to fast acquire resistance to the newest antibiotics by virtue of new antibiotic-resistance determinants and new virulence traits. Despite an array of antibiotics, MRSA continues to pose therapeutic dilemma and remains the most feared multiple-antibiotic resistant pathogen in the ICUs. The main reason behind it is that the existing therapeutic options to treat MRSA infections are becoming limited. Resistance to vancomycin and linezolid has already been reported from different parts of India. The research efforts for antibiotic development need to be at par with it. Newer antibiotics are needed to combat the impending threat of untreatable MRSA infections.

Table 5: Therapeutic options for managing MRSA infections
Serial numberDrug nameDrug classMechanism of actionBacteriostatic/bactericidalRoute of administrationIndicationsMajor adverse effects
1VancomycinGlycopeptideVancomycin inhibits the cross-linking within peptidoglycan layer of bacterial cell wallBactericidal (variable)IVMRSA, Staphylococcus endocarditis, and Diphtheroid endocarditisInfusion-related anaphylactoid reactions, nephrotoxicity, pseudomembranous colitis, ototoxicity, neutropenia, and phlebitis
2LinezolidOxazolidinoneInhibits bacterial protein synthesisBacteriostaticIV and oralSSTI, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium infections, nosocomial pneumoniaDiarrhea, vomiting, headache, nausea, and anemia
3TigecyclineGlycylcyclineBacteriostatic: inhibits protein translation in bacteria by binding to the 30 S ribosomal subunitBacteriostaticIVComplicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI), complicated intra-abdominal infections, and community-acquired bacterial pneumoniaNausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, and increased serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT)
4TeicoplaninGlycopeptideInhibits bacterial cell wall synthesisBactericidalIM or IVSkin and soft tissue infections, urinary tract infections, lower respiratory tract infections, joint and bone infections, septicemia, endocarditis, and peritonitis related to continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysisLocal reactions, hypersensitivity, increased transaminases, eosinophilia, thrombocytopenia, increase in serum creatinine, blood urea, renal failure, hearing loss, and tinnitus
5DaptomycinCyclic lipopeptideBacterial cell membrane lysisBactericidalIVcSSSI, Staphylococcus aureus bloodstream infections (bacteremia), right-sided infective endocarditisDiarrhea, headache, dizziness, rash, abnormal liver function tests, elevated creatine phosphokinase (CPK), urinary tract infections, hypotension, and dyspnea
6CeftarolineCephalosporinsBactericidal: binds to essential penicillin-binding proteinBactericidalIVABSSI and CAPDiarrhea, nausea, rash, vomiting, and pyrexia
7Ceftobiprole  CephalosporinsHas high affinity for PBP2a of MRSABactericidalIVHAP, VAP, and CAPHypersensitivity reactions, Clostridium difficile-associated, direct Coombs’ test seroconversion
8ClindamycinLincosamide antibioticInhibits bacterial protein synthesis at the level of the 50S ribosomeBacteriostaticIV or oralSkin and skin structure infections, gynecological infections, intra-abdominal infections, septicemia, and bone and joint infectionsPruritus, rash, urticarial, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and esophagitis

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; IV, intravenous; IM, intramuscular; ABSSI, acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections; HAP, hospital-acquired pneumonia; CAP, community-acquired pneumonia; VAP, ventilator-associated pneumonia; SSTI, skin and soft tissue infection

Table 6: Various investigational drugs in the late phase of clinical development for MRSA
MoleculeClassPotential clinical usePhase of clinical developmentRoute of administration
Levonadifloxacin48Benzoquinolizine quinoloneABSSI, DFI, HAP, CAP, and BJIPhase IIIIV/oral
Radezolid49OxazolidinoneSSTI and CAPPhase IIOral
Eravacycline50Tetracycline; synthetic fluorocyclineIntra-abdominal infections and UTIPhase III IGNITE (investigating Gram-negative infections treated with eravacycline)IV and oral
Omadacycline51Tetracycline; aminomethylcyclineSSTI and CAPPhase IIIIV and per oral
Lefamulin52PleuromutilinSSTI and CAPPhase IIIIV and per oral
Brilacidin44Defensin-mimeticABSSSIPhase II bIV, per oral and oral rinse for oral mucositis
Debio 1450 Afabicin53Fabl enzyme inhibitorABSSSIPhase IIIV and per oral
CEM-102 Taksta54Fusidic acidABSSSIPhase IIIIV and per oral

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; ABSSI, acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections; DFI, diabetic foot infections; HAP, hospital-acquired pneumonia; CAP, community-acquired pneumonia; BJI, bone and joint infection; IV, intravenous; SSTI, skin and soft tissue infection; UTI, urinary tract infection; ABSSSI, acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections


Several potential antibiotic agents are in the pipeline and, therefore, the future of MRSA management seems reassuring. Furthermore, the hospitals need to implement MRSA surveillance, stricter hand hygiene measures besides developing a strong antibiotic stewardship program which includes development of antibiotic policies based on local microorganism flora and the sensitivity patterns, prescription audit, and pharmacovigilance.


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