MRSA. Our Treatment Targets this Stubborn Bacterium with Supplements

Updated: 10/19/23

Have you ever heard of MRSA? It’s an acronym for Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and it’s a bacteria that is creating quite a headache in the medical world. We don’t often hear about how to treat this persistent bug, so today we’re diving into natural ways to combat it; namely with gentle supplements. Ready to learn how? Let’s get started!

What is MRSA?

One of the scariest things about MRSA is that it can happen to anyone. It’s an infection that’s difficult to treat and can cause serious health problems. If you’ve never heard of MRSA before, you’re not alone. Many people aren’t aware of this dangerous infection until it affects them or someone they know.

MRSA stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It’s a type of bacteria that’s resistant to many antibiotics, making it difficult to treat. It’s often found in hospitals or healthcare facilities, but it can also be found in the community. MRSA can enter the body through a cut or wound and cause an infection. MRSA can also cause skin infections, pneumonia, and bloodstream infections.

It is important to know that MRSA can be found in hospitals, community settings, and even in animals. It spreads by skin-to-skin contact, touching contaminated objects or surfaces, and even through the air. This means that anyone can become infected if they are exposed to MRSA bacteria. However, certain populations, such as those who have weakened immune systems, are at a higher risk of contracting MRSA.

Most MRSA infections are not that serious, but some can be life-threatening. Public experts are even more concerned about the spread of tougher MRSA strains. It is often referred to as Super Bug due to the difficulty of treating it.

MRSA Pneumonia

MRSA pneumonia is caused by a bacterium that is resistant to most commonly used antibiotics. The bacteria can spread through contact with an infected person, from surfaces, or equipment contaminated by the bacteria. Symptoms of pneumonia include cough, fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. In more severe cases, the infection can cause sepsis or multiple organ failure.

MRSA should be suspected to occur in patients suffering from pneumonia, mostly in periods when influenza cases are rampant.


MSSA is a type of Staph infection that can be treated with commonly available antibiotics. It is referred to as “sensitive” because, against this kind of bacteria, such antibiotics are not resistant to. MSSA is commonly seen in people living in crowded situations and places like nursing homes. In the early stages, MSSA can be easily identified through pus-filled bumps that can quickly spread through the body. Doctors will typically prescribe a course of antibiotics that lasts for seven to ten days, and the person typically makes a full recovery.

MRSA, on the other hand, is a type of staph infection that can be resistant to many common antibiotics, making it a more serious concern. The bacteria are a type of S. aureus that has become resistant to antibiotics, including penicillin. MRSA typically develops in people who have been exposed to antibiotics before and are in certain communities, such as healthcare facilities, prisons, and military barracks. This stigma forced health officials to say that hospitals are more likely to asset MRSA than people are. In the early stages, an MRSA infection appears as a swollen, red, and painful area on the skin that can be accompanied by a fever and other symptoms. Doctors typically prescribe a course of antibiotics that can last several weeks, and it is extremely important to follow the prescribed treatment plan to completion. If left untreated, MRSA can cause permanent and potentially life-threatening complications.

While MSSA is susceptible to treatments, MRSA is resistant to treatments.

MRSA in Children

The most common source of infection of MRSA in children is a simple cut. If noticed early, MRSA infection can be treated easily. The symptoms of the infection in children can include a painful bump, leaking pus and boil. It can be treated with nafcillin, which is a penicillin antibiotic that works against bacteria.

MRSA is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which can be transmitted through contact with an infected person or object. Children can contract MRSA in many settings, such as schools, daycare centers, and gyms. The bacteria can enter the body through cuts and scrapes, or through contact with contaminated objects like towels, toys, and equipment. Children who have weakened immune systems or chronic skin conditions are especially at risk.

Prevention is the key to avoiding MRSA infections. Parents can protect their children by teaching them to practice good hygiene, such as washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and avoiding sharing personal items like towels and razors. Children should also keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until they are fully healed. In addition, facilities that are frequented by children, like schools and gyms, should practice good hygiene, such as regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment.

Pathophysiology of Wound Infection

Wound infection occurs when bacteria or other harmful organisms penetrate the skin’s defense mechanisms beneath the wound site, leading to inflammation and the formation of pus. This inflammation and pus production occur due to the cellular response that happens when the immune system attacks the invading organisms. In the case of wound infection, the immune system tries to isolate and destroy the bacteria, resulting in swelling, redness, and pain. The most common causative agents of wound infection are Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli.

Staphylococcus Aureus Antibiotic Resistance

Staphylococcus aureus is quite notorious for its ability to remain resistant to the common antibiotic. The infections caused by these antibiotic-resistant strains often occur in epidemic waves activated by one or more successful clones.

The rise in antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus aureus is largely due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance is a natural response of bacteria to antibiotics and when they are used unnecessarily or improperly, the bacteria have an opportunity to develop resistance. This is why it’s essential to use antibiotics wisely and only when they are truly necessary.

What can be done to combat antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections? First and foremost, the responsible use of antibiotics is critical. It is essential to avoid using antibiotics when they are not needful and to make sure that any antibiotics are prescribed appropriately. Other strategies include improved hygiene practices, such as handwashing, and the use of effective disinfectants to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Symptoms of MRSA

As stated earlier, the symptoms derived from infection with MRSA will depend on the area of the body where the infection is localized. For instance, individuals with MRSA skin infection typically exhibit swelling, redness, warmth and pain in the infected area.

Some MRSA infections may have a fairly similar appearance that can be mistaken for a spider bite.

Most Staphylococcus aureus infections, which include MRSA, will appear as an infected area or bump on the skin and might be:

  • Swollen
  • Red
  • Painful
  • Warm to touch
  • Accompanied by fever
  • Full of pus

Complications of MSRA

Respiratory Infections

In some cases, MRSA can cause respiratory infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. These infections can cause high fever, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. They are more common in people with weakened immune systems, chronic lung diseases, or who have been on mechanical ventilation. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Bloodstream Infections

MRSA can also invade the bloodstream, causing sepsis, a life-threatening condition. Symptoms of bloodstream infections include fever, chills, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, and confusion. These infections can occur after surgery, invasive medical procedures, or through a skin wound. Bloodstream infections require prompt medical treatment with antibiotics and may require hospitalization.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are common in women, but they can also affect men and children. MRSA can cause urinary tract infections that can lead to kidney damage if left untreated. Symptoms of urinary tract infections include frequent urination, painful urination, cloudy urine, and fever. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention and get a urine test.

Joint Infections

MRSA infections can also affect the joints, leading to symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness. While joint infections are less common than skin infections, they can be much more serious, leading to permanent joint damage if left untreated.


In severe cases, MRSA infections can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the infection moves into the bloodstream. Symptoms of sepsis include high fever, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and confusion.

Causes of MRSA

There are a lot of varieties of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, and they are known as ‘staph.’ They exist mostly on the skin and sometimes in the nose of about a third of the population.

They are generally harmless until they gain entry into the body through a wound or lesion.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact is the leading cause of MRSA infections. When someone has MRSA on their skin, it can easily pass on to another person through body contact, such as kissing or shaking hands. Staph bacteria can remain undetected on our skin for months and it thrives in warm and damp conditions. That is why it is important to always keep your hands clean and wash them regularly with antibacterial soap.

Shared Equipment and Items

Sharing equipment in public places such as gyms or public showers can also lead to the spread of MRSA. This is because bacteria can quickly spread from one person to another if they are using the same equipment or sharing personal items such as towels or razors. Be sure to always bring your own personal hygiene kits and wash your equipment after use so that you can avoid any possible risk of infection.

MRSA and Skin Infections

One of the most common causes of MRSA is skin infections. This type of bacteria can easily infect cuts and wounds, making it important to keep wounds covered and clean. Athletes and people who live in close quarters, such as military personnel or those in nursing homes or prisons, can be particularly susceptible to these types of infections. It’s also important to note that MRSA can be transmitted from person-to-person through skin-to-skin contact.

Hospital Infections

While skin infections are one of the most common causes of MRSA, it’s also important to be aware of the risks associated with hospital or healthcare settings. MRSA spreads easily in hospital settings due to the high level of interaction between doctors, nurses, and patients. If you are undergoing surgery or receiving treatment in a hospital, be sure to ask questions about your risk for MRSA, and follow the hospital’s procedures for preventing its spread.

Compromised Immune System

People with a weak immune system are more susceptible to contracting MRSA because their bodies cannot fight off infections as effectively as those with a healthy immune system. This includes people who have undergone surgery or those who have chronic illnesses such as diabetes. It’s essential to take extra measures to prevent MRSA infections if you have a compromised immune system.

Cuts or Injuries

Cuts and wounds are an open invitation for MRSA bacteria to invade the body. This is because the bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream through open wounds or cuts. It is crucial to keep your injuries clean and sanitized by applying antiseptic solutions like hydrogen peroxide or iodine to avoid the risk of infection.

Poor Hygiene Practices

Poor personal hygiene is one of the most common causes of MRSA infections. This includes people who do not shower regularly, wash their hands often enough, or do not practice proper hand sanitation techniques. To avoid the risk of contracting or spreading MRSA, practice good personal hygiene habits, such as bathing regularly, washing your hands with hot water and antibacterial soap, and regularly disinfecting items such as phones, keyboards, and common workplace surfaces.

Crowded and Unsanitary Living Conditions

MRSA thrives in crowded and unsanitary living conditions. This is because the bacteria can easily spread from person to person through contact with contaminated surfaces or skin. People who live in close proximity to each other, such as in hospitals, nursing homes, and prisons, are at an increased risk of developing MRSA.

Infected Bug Bite

Symptoms of some MRSA infections can disguise themselves for for bug bites. However, unless spiders or other bugs are present, the irritation should not have an expectation for bugs.

Misuse of Antibiotics

Finally, there is some evidence to suggest that the misuse of antibiotics can also contribute to the development of MRSA. When antibiotics are overused, it can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA. If you are taking antibiotics, make sure to follow the directions carefully and complete the full course of treatment.

Can MRSA Kill You?

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of bacteria that has become resistant to many antibiotics commonly used to treat infections. This superbug can cause serious infections that can sometimes lead to death. MRSA affects people of all ages, but it can be particularly dangerous for older adults, children, and people with weakened immune systems.

The most effective way to prevent MRSA infections is to practice good hygiene. This includes washing your hands regularly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible, and keeping cuts and wounds clean and covered. Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels, razors, and clothing, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. For people in healthcare settings, following proper infection control procedures, such as wearing gloves and gowns when caring for patients with MRSA, can help prevent the spread of this superbug.

Causes of MRSA

Treatment of MRSA

Both community-associated and healthcare-associated strains of MRSA will respond to treatment with some antibiotics. In some other cases, antibiotics may not be really necessary. For instance, doctors will only have to drain an abscess caused by MRSA and may not need to administer any form of treatment.


The most common treatment for MRSA is antibiotics. However, because MRSA is resistant to many types of antibiotics, it is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate antibiotic to use. Some antibiotics that may be effective in treating MRSA include vancomycin, daptomycin, linezolid, and clindamycin. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed by your healthcare provider, even if symptoms improve.

Antibiotics for MRSA

The first step that should be taken in the treatment of an MRSA infection is to make an incision and drain the affected area. This may even be enough in the treatment of abscess not more than 5 cm in diameter. Once the incision and the drainage have completed, then the next treatment should be the administration of antibiotics.

IV antibiotics: A host of IV antibiotics are effective in the treatment of MRSA infections, and they include:

  • First line therapy – Vancomycin
  • Second line therapy – Daptomycin
  • Third line therapy – Linezolid (Zyvox)
  • Fourth line therapy – Tigecycline
  • Fifth line therapy – Quinupristin

In addition to the antibiotics listed above, some other forms of emerging therapies have been proven useful in the treatment of MRSA. They include dalbavancin, telavancin and ceftobiprole.

Oral antibiotics: The antibiotics that can be taken orally for MRSA treatment include:

  • First line therapy: Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim
  • Second line therapy: Clindamycin (Cleocin)
  • Third line therapy: Tetracycline
  • Fourth line therapy: Linezolid

Incision and Drainage

In some cases, an MRSA infection may require incision and drainage. This involves making a small incision in the affected area to drain the pus and infected material. This can help alleviate pain and reduce the spread of infection. Incision and drainage should only be by a healthcare provider to avoid further complications.

Wound Care

Proper wound care is essential in the treatment of MRSA. This includes keeping the affected area clean and dry, and changing any dressings or bandages regularly. MRSA can spread easily, so it is important to cover any open wounds with a clean bandage until they have healed. Avoid touching the affected area and wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.

Self-Care Measures

There are also several self-care measures that can help treat MRSA. These include getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating a healthy diet. Applying heat or cold to the affected area can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can also help alleviate pain and reduce fever.


Prevention is key in avoiding MRSA infections. To reduce your risk of infection, always practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing a diaper, or handling food. Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors, or clothing. Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered until they have healed. And if you have a MRSA infection, avoid close contact with others until the infection has cleared.

Can You Get Rid of MRSA?

MRSA can receive treatment. Although it is resistant to some antibiotics, there are a host of other antibiotics that work against the infection. If a patient suffers from a severe infection of MRSA, then he or she might be administered with intravenous antibiotics.

How Long Can Staph Go Untreated?

Most of the time, the bacteria do not cause any problems or may just result in a mild skin infection. However, they can be deadly if they invade the body, entering your bloodstream, bones, joints, hearts and lungs.

Will MRSA Heal On Its Own?

In short, while there are rare cases where MRSA may heal on its own, it’s not something that should be relied upon. If you suspect you have MRSA, or have been diagnosed with the infection, seeking medical attention is crucial. It is a serious infection that requires prompt and appropriate treatment to prevent complications and improve outcomes.

MRSA Home Treatment

MRSA can be quite dangerous, but there are a host of home remedies for treatment of the infection, which includes garlic, tea tree oil, turmeric, aloe vera, oregano oil and olive leaf extract, among others.

These homemade treatments have inherent antibiotic properties and can be effective in the treatment of the infection.

  • Tea Tree Oil: When it comes to combating bacteria, tea tree oil has proven to be quite effective in the treatment, especially in eliminating the symptoms associated with MRSA. The oil should dilute in another career oil before applying to the skin.
  • Garlic: Not only is garlic readily available, but it is also inexpensive. In addition, it is very effective in the treatment of MRSA. Fresh cloves should receive a good mashing after soaking them in water for some time. The garlic should have application to the affected area.
  • Manuka Honey: This is also a very potent antibacterial substance and can apply to the infected area directly.
  • Olive Leaf Extract: Oleuropein is the compound in olive leaf, and it is also beneficial in the treatment of MRSA.
  • Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil has been used for years to treat respiratory infections, but it can also be effective against MRSA. Eucalyptus oil contains cineole, which has antiviral and antibacterial properties. You can mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the infected area to help kill off bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Living with MRSA

Living with MRSA requires attention to detail and dedication towards healthy habits. Pay attention to the wound and follow your health care provider’s instructions for cleaning and changing bandages. Wash bed linens, towels, and clothing in hot water with bleach to kill bacteria. Always cover the wound before leaving the house, and avoid sharing personal items with others to prevent spread of the infection.

Living with MRSA can feel overwhelming, especially when dealing with severe or long-term infections. It’s important to have a support system, including friends, family, and mental health professionals. Joining a support group and building a routine around self-care can help manage stress and maintain the motivation to stay healthy.

Staph Infection Prevention

In order to prevent the spread of staph infection, you should follow the following steps:

  • Wash your hands clean all the time after every activity.
  • Ensure that your cuts and scrapes are clean and well cover them with bandages till they heal.
  • Try to avoid contact with other people’s wounds.
  • Do not share personal items with other people.
  • Keep your immune system strong. 
  • Don’t abuse antibiotic treatments.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Get vaccinations per CDC recommendations.
  • Educating yourself and others

Supplements for MRSA

Supplements are not viable in the treatment of MRSA when using for treatment alone, but are effective when in combination with other therapies. They to help in the fight against infection through the boosting of the immune system. And there are a number of them to address the infection and offer a source of careful prevention.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps protect the body against damage caused by harmful free radicals. It also helps support the immune system, which is crucial in fighting off MRSA. Studies have shown that taking vitamin C supplements can help prevent and treat MRSA infections by boosting the body’s natural defenses. You can boost your vitamin C intake by eating citrus fruits, leafy greens, and taking supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing infections. It helps the body produce white blood cells that can fight off harmful bacteria and viruses. A lack of vitamin D can make you more susceptible to infections like MRSA. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, but you can also take supplements to boost your intake.


Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy immune system. It helps produce white blood cells, which fight off harmful pathogens like MRSA. Studies have shown that taking zinc supplements can help enhance the immune system’s response to infections and reduce the duration and severity of MRSA infections.


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your body. They also help boost the immune system and prevent infections. One review of studies found that probiotics may be effective in reducing the risk of MRSA infections and improving overall immune function. You can get probiotics by eating foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables, or by taking supplements.


Echinacea is a plant extract that’s been used for centuries to treat infections. It’s shown to have immune-boosting properties and can help stimulate the production of white blood cells. Taking an echinacea supplement may help reduce the risk of MRSA infections by supporting your immune system.

Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract is derived from the seeds of red wine grapes, and it has excellent antimicrobial properties that can inhibit MRSA activity. This supplement has antioxidant properties that help promote a healthy immune system, support healthy cell growth, and can help speed up the healing of skin infections. A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that grape seed extract is effective in eradicating MRSA from human cells.

Green Tea Extract

Green tea extract is loaded with antioxidants known as catechins that can help fight MRSA infections. One study showed that green tea extract can inhibit the growth of MRSA and is effective in preventing skin infections. Drinking green tea regularly or taking green tea extract supplements can help boost your immune system and reduce the risk of MRSA skin infections.

Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 has been found to have synergistic effects with various antibiotics such as oxacillin, tetracycline, rifampicin, and linezolid to combat MRSA infections. These antibiotics and Vitamin B1 work together to enhance the therapeutic effect of antibiotics and increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Studies have found that a combination of Vitamin B1 and antibiotics can reduce the mortality rate and shorten the hospital stay of patients with MRSA infections. Generally, a daily dose of vitamin B1 supplements at 100mg to 500mg is recommended to combat MRSA infections effectively. 

Vitamin B3

Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, is essential for your body’s good health and has potent anti-inflammatory effects. This supplement can help increase your body’s white blood cell count, which plays an essential role in fighting off MRSA infections. A 2018 study found that niacin supplementation can help reduce the risk of MRSA infections in those undergoing dialysis.


Ginseng is an herb that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help fight off MRSA infections. This supplement has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling and redness associated with MRSA skin infections. A study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology found that ginseng is effective in inhibiting MRSA growth.

Juniper Berry

Juniper berry is a berry that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for its antibacterial properties. It contains compounds that can help boost your immune system and help fight off MRSA infections. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology showed that juniper berry oil has potent antimicrobial properties against MRSA.

The Bottom Line

MRSA infections can be serious, but with proper treatment and prevention measures, they can be effectively treated. Whether you are prescribed antibiotics or opt for more self-care measures, it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to ensure the infection is properly treated.

Preventing MRSA is easy and straightforward with simple habits that you can adopt in your daily routine. By maintaining good personal hygiene, keeping your environment clean and disinfected, adopting healthy habits, educating yourself and others, and seeking medical attention when necessary, you can significantly reduce the chances of MRSA infections. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so keep yourself and your loved ones safe by following these simple steps.

While natural supplements are not a substitute for conventional treatment, they can help support and strengthen your immune system and increase your body’s resistance to infections like MRSA. Grape seed extract, green tea extract, vitamin B3, ginseng, and juniper berry are all effective supplements that can help you fight off MRSA infections and maintain good overall health. If you are considering taking any of these supplements, speak with your healthcare provider first to ensure safety and determine proper dosages. Stay healthy!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

Author: Ryan Quigley
Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering the Vegas Golden Knights.