Posts tagged: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MRSA and Meat: 64% of Pork Samples In Grocery Stores Contaminated by Livestock and Handlers

We’ve blogged in the past about MRSA being found on grocery meat in Detroit. Now, the same problem is occurring in Iowa, Minnesota, and New Jersey. A a recent study published this past January revealed that 64% of pork samples from grocery stores in these areas were contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. Of these, more than 6% tested positive for MRSA, the drug-resistant strain of Staph.

Tara Smith, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa and one of the study’s contributing authors notes the uncertainty of the source of contamination. The molecular typing from these samples are shown as a combination of both “human” and “pig” strains. This suggests that the bacteria may be from both the farm and the people who handle the products.

As most of you know, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most deadly and resistant strains of Staph bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention, more than 90,000 people develop a serious MRSA infection every year and up to 20% of the infected population die. Of those that survive, many face incredibly difficult recovery periods that often involve more medication and surgery. Read more »

Rapid MRSA Diagnosis needs Rapid MRSA Decolonization Therapeutics

There are several companies which offer rapid diagnostic tests for a drug-resistant staph infection known as MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), one of the most common superbugs found in hospitals. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that MRSA affects 90,000 Americans each year, killing about 18,000.

Rapid diagnosis of MRSA enables a healthcare facility to quickly determine if a new patient is colonized with MRSA and would enable intervention measures to be deployed more quickly. Rapid diagnosis is expected to therefore reduce  the spread of MRSA to other patients via healthcare workers who are seen to be the usual vector of transmission across the healthcare facilities. Deployment measures would include isolation chambers, full gown & glove protocols, hand washing before and after patient visits etc.  An additional use of MRSA diagnostics is the opportunity to apply intervention measures to  prevent surgical site infections since MRSA carriers run the risk of self-infection once their bodies are immuno-compromised after a surgery.

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MRSA On The Rise Among Children

Hospitalized children colonized with MRSA have a very real risk for invasive infections, both while in the hospital and once they leave, so mitigating this risk is a serious priority – Dr. Aaron Milstone

The antibiotic resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is on the rise and children are at high risk for contracting skin infections that could develop into life threatening cases.  In a 2007 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was shown that 95,000 people had developed serious MRSA infections and that nearly 19,000 died. The rate of hospitalization among children due to skin infections has more than doubled since 2000.  Hospitalized children who carry MRSA and yet show no signs of ill health are indeed still at risk for developing full-blown MRSA infections.

A study conducted between 2007 and 2010 at John Hopkins Children’s Centre found that children carrying MRSA were six times more likely to develop serious infections after they were discharged in comparison with their non-carrier counterparts, and eight times more likely to develop invasive MRSA infections while still in the hospital. The study also found that children that had been prescribed four courses of antibiotics prior to being treated were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with MRSA than children that had not been prescribed antibiotics. These statistics suggest that the misuse and overuse of antibiotics are placing children at higher risk of developing serious MRSA infections. Read more »

Running the MRSA Vanguard with Vancomycin

In today’s world, a higher degree of exchange is taking place between places through commerce and travel, and contact with new strains of bacteria is now becoming commonplace. Even more disconcerting is certain bacteria have begun to develop resistance to last line treatments such as Vancomycin.

Most people have never heard of Vancomycin and they are lucky. In a recent survey, three out of four doctors considered Vancomycin as the leading treatment for MRSA infections[1]. Vancomycin doesn’t allow common types of bacteria to latch onto the cells in your body and because of this, many of the bacteria will die. The treatment for MRSA is one of six “indications” for which Vancomycin is restricted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is because the more an antibiotic is used, the more resistant bacteria can develop. As a result, we should restrict usage to the most serious indications and limit antibiotic resistance. Read more »

High MRSA Rates Common in Dental Schools

A recent Seattle study published in the  American Journal of Infection and Control found very high rates of MRSA colonization among dental students at the University of Washington.  This is cause for concern as we are now only beginning to understand the extent of the MRSA problem outside of the hospital setting. Of the 61 dental students tested, one in five were positive for carrying this superbug within their nose. In addition, samples testing for evidence of MRSA on equipment surfaces, dental chairs, and floors proved that four out of seven dental clinics at the University carried this superbug.

Although the CDC is urging that this study not be taken as a representation of typical rates in dental and hospital settings, the true prevalence of MRSA in our communities is not fully known. Another recent study conducted with dental school students in buffalo, N.Y. presented an even greater rate of infection of infection with 31% of 84 people testing positive for the superbug.

Clearly, the rates of community-acquired MRSA colonization are on the rise.  MRSA is found on the skin or most commonly in the nose and those who are colonized may not not even know it as they often do not show signs and symptoms of infection. These studies are therefore one step towards helping us understand the true extent of the MRSA problem. Further study into this topic is needed in order to present a more accurate picture of community-acquired rates of MRSA.

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