News from the frontline: MRSA in the Arabian Gulf

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Staphylococcus aureus is a tenacious human colonizer, with up to 20% of the population being persistent carriers. Nasal colonization with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) is an important determinant of subsequent MRSA infections and this ubiquitous pathogen is a common cause of invasive and life-threatening infections.

Shortly after the introduction of methicillin, the first report of MRSA emerged from England in 1961. Today, MRSA is a global health concern. In the past few decades, there has been a shift in the epidemiology of MRSA that was heralded by the emergence of community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) lineage.

The Arabian Gulf region

The countries of the Arabian Gulf region referenced in this article include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar. These affluent nations have large numbers of resident expatriates from across the world, with many more visiting for tourism and commerce. In addition, millions from across the world visit Saudi Arabia annually for the Hajj pilgrimage. This dynamic population movement within the region presents a unique challenge in terms of evolution of antibiotic resistance trends.

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