Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA) is one of the most important bacterial pathogens based on its incidence and the severity of its associated infections. In addition, severe MRSA infections can occur in hospitalised patients or healthy individuals from the community. Studies have shown the infiltration of MRSA isolates of community origin into hospitals and variants of hospital-associated MRSA have caused infections in the community. These rapid epidemiological changes represent a challenge for the molecular characterisation of such bacteria as a hospital or community-acquired pathogen. To efficiently control the spread of MRSA, it is important to promptly detect the mecA
gene, which is the determinant of methicillin resistance, using a polymerase chain reaction-based test or other rapidly and accurate methods that detect the mecA
product penicillin-binding protein (PBP)2a or PBP2’. The recent emergence of MRSA isolates that harbour a mecA
allotype, i.e., the mecC
gene, infecting animals and humans has raised an additional and significant issue regarding MRSA laboratory detection. Antimicrobial drugs for MRSA therapy are becoming depleted and vancomycin is still the main choice in many cases. In this review, we present an overview of MRSA infections in community and healthcare settings with focus on recent changes in the global epidemiology, with special reference to the MRSA picture in Brazil.