Antimicrobial Resistance: Old Bugs, New Threats, and the Public Health Response

syringe and vialOverview

The rise in antimicrobial resistance in community and healthcare settings is causing alarm among public health leaders, clinicians, and infectious disease experts. "Staph" infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have received increasing attention in recent years. New strains of MRSA have caused illness in persons without the usual risk factor of a hospital stay or visit to a health care facility, places where it was once largely confined. Community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA, has caused outbreaks in several states and is the target of a public health awareness campaign to prevent antimicrobial resistance. Join us as we examine the case of Seattle-King County, Washington, a metropolitan community, whose public health department is building partnerships, providing education, and making surveillance a top priority to prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance.


This program will seek to increase awareness of antimicrobial resistance and the public health response to CA-MRSA.


  • Identify populations at highest risk for CA-MRSA.
  • Identify three common factors associated with transmission of CA-MRSA.
  • Describe the role of health departments in response to CA-MRSA.
  • Describe the role of clinicians in response to CA-MRSA.
  • List three potential CA-MRSA prevention strategies.


Public health leaders, managers, and professionals from local and state health departments, laboratories, hospitals, community-based health organizations, boards of health, academic institutions, federal agencies, and others who are concerned about antimicrobial resistance and the rise in resistant bacterial infections in community settings.

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