Abstract Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a serious threat to public health worldwide. Ongoing surveillance is essential to support infection control committees and clinicians in the prevention and treatment of infection. However, in Latin America, resources for monitoring the changing epidemiology of MRSA remain limited. In this article, we review the current situation of MRSA in Latin America in order to highlight the need for a more harmonised effort to improve its management. Literature in the PubMed and SciELO databases as well as the website of the Pan American Health Organization were searched for articles and information about the epidemiology of MRSA in Latin America. MRSA is already the leading cause of nosocomial infection in the Latin American region, and the number of reports of community-acquired MRSA infections is also rising. However, the extent of the problem is not fully understood, especially since data tend to come from large hospitals whereas much of the population is served by small community healthcare centres that do not have extensive facilities for performing microbiological surveillance. In conclusion, wider-reaching and co-ordinated programmes to provide regular MRSA surveillance reports are required across the Latin American region.