Staphylococcus infection

Diagnosis

How a healthcare provider diagnoses a staph infection depends on the location of the infection. Staph infections are often easily identifiable on the skin. To diagnose a staph infection, a healthcare provider will:

  • Physical examination: During the exam, your provider examines any skin sores or reddened areas you may have. Your provider can also review any other symptoms.
  • Imaging tests: An echocardiography is an imaging test that your healthcare provider could perform if you are diagnosed with a staph infection. If the disease caused damage to your heart, this test can determine that. Depending on your symptoms and the results of the exam, your healthcare provider might prescribe additional imaging tests.
  • Sample testing: In order to detect staph infections, healthcare providers typically look for bacteria in blood, urine, skin, infected materials, or nasal secretions. Your healthcare provider may select the antibiotic that will most effectively combat bacteria with the use of additional testing.

Treatment

Topical antibiotics are typically the primary treatment for most cases of staph infection in the skin. Additionally, a healthcare provider may opt to make a small incision to drain the pus from a boil or abscess.

A staph infection may be treated with:

  • Antibiotics: To determine the type of staph bacteria causing your infection, a healthcare provider might run certain tests. This will allow your healthcare provider to select the antibiotic that will work for you the best. Antibiotics such as cefazolin, nafcillin, oxacillin, vancomycin, daptomycin, and linezolid are frequently administered to treat staph infections.

Vancomycin may be necessary for staph infections that are severe. This is a result of the staph bacteria strains’ widespread resistance to other conventional antibiotics. It also means that the staph bacteria can no longer be killed by other antibiotics. Intravenously (by a vein) is the only way to administer vancomycin and certain other medicines needed to treat staph infections that are resistant to them.

  • Wound drainage: Your healthcare provider might make an incision into the sore to remove any gathered fluid if you have a skin infection. Additionally, the area is completely cleaned.
  • Device removal: In the event that your infection affects a medical device—such as an artificial joint, heart pacemaker, or urine catheter—it could be necessary to remove it right away. Surgery may be necessary for the removal of some devices.
  • Antibiotic resistance: The staph bacteria are extremely adaptable. Numerous kinds are now immune to one or more antibiotics. For instance, penicillin is no longer able to treat the majority of staph infections.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are frequently used to characterize antibiotic-resistant strains of Staph bacterium. The use of IV antibiotics, such as vancomycin or daptomycin, which may have additional adverse effects, has become necessary due to the rise in strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

Make sure to follow the directions if you are prescribed an oral antibiotic. Consume every pill that your healthcare provider prescribes for you. Find out from your healthcare provider what warning indications to look out for that could indicate the infection is getting worse.