Disease-causing bacteria called pathogens can make us ill, and if not treated and controlled, can lead to organ failure and even death. One such bacterial pathogen is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This organism is capable of causing a range of infections from skin and soft tissue infections to more life threatening illnesses such as pneumonia as well as bloodstream and surgical site infections. The acquisition of MRSA used to be retained to the hospital environment but now, this organism can be acquired from community settings. Proper hand hygiene can help reduce the risk for a MRSA infection in both hospitals and the community. The Academy convened a panel of experts in Nov. 2013 to discuss the clinical significance of MRSA in hospitals, the community and in livestock populations along with measures that can mitigate the risk of infection with this organism. Please read "The Threat of MRSA," a report based on the deliberations of the participants that attended this colloquium.