Hospital-acquired MRSA refers to occurences on the MRSA infection that have been contracted within a healthcare setting. People in hospital are already suffering from a weakened immune system and are particularly vulnerable to MRSA infection.
Controversy surrounding the lack of hygiene in hospitals has brought attention to the heightened risks of catching MRSA whilst being an in-patient. Medical equipment such as catheters can harbour bacteria. Additionally, regular use of antibiotics has, in part, contributed to Staphylococcus aureus becoming Methicillin-resistant, hence MRSA.
Staphylococci can grow as biofilms, which are specialized communities of bacteria that are highly resistant to antibiotics and immune responses. They are remarkably adhesive and can grow on many surfaces, including implanted medical devices such as pacemakers, heart valve replacements and artificial joints. Preventing or inhibiting the growth of such biofilms would dramatically reduce the incidence of staph infections.