, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 285–325 | Cite as

Economic Features of Antibiotic Resistance: The Case of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

  • Fernando Antonanzas
  • Carmen Lozano
  • Carmen Torres
Leading Article


This paper analyses and updates the economic information regarding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), including information that has been previously reviewed by other authors, and new information, for the purpose of facilitating health management and clinical decisions. The analysed articles reveal great disparity in the economic burden on MRSA patients; this is mainly due to the diversity of the designs of the studies, as well as the variability of the patients and the differences in health care systems. Regarding prophylactic strategies, the studies do not provide conclusive results that could unambiguously orientate health management. The studies addressing treatments noted that linezolid seems to be a cost-effective treatment for MRSA, mostly because it is associated with a shorter length of stay (LOS) in hospital. However, important variables such as antimicrobial susceptibility, infection type and resistance emergence should be included in these analyses before a conclusion is reached regarding which treatment is the best (most efficient). The reviewed studies found that rapid MRSA detection, using molecular techniques, is an efficient technique to control MRSA. As a general conclusion, the management of MRSA infections implicates important economic costs for hospitals, as they result in higher direct costs and longer LOS than those related to methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) patients or MRSA-free patients; there is wide variability in those increased costs, depending on different variables. Moreover, the research reveals a lack of studies on other related topics, such as the economic implications of changes in MRSA epidemiology (community patients and lineages associated with farm animals).


Linezolid Daptomycin Mupirocin Telavancin Economic Evaluation Study 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Carmen Lozano has no conflicts of interest (including non-financial). She contributed to the search for articles and to their tabulation, as well as to the development of sections 2 and 3 (regarding the global problem of MRSA and the epidemiology of MRSA). She also collaborated on the general analysis of the results.

Carmen Torres has no conflicts of interest (including non-financial). Her contributions consisted of summarizing the texts that were found, classification of the papers into different categories and general review of the written text.

Fernando Antonanzas has no conflicts of interest (including non-financial). He contributed to the general design and writing of the paper. He especially developed the economic aspects of sections 5–8. All three co-authors are responsible for the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Antonanzas
    • 1
  • Carmen Lozano
    • 1
  • Carmen Torres
    • 1
  1. 1.University of La RiojaLogronoSpain

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