Posts tagged: staphyloccocus aureus

The Rise of Superbugs- MRSA In The News

Welcome to a world where drugs don’t work – MSNBC March 31st, 2011

When Alexander Fleming discovered in 1928 the first antibiotic, penicillin, we believed that we had the tools necessary to beat bacteria. We understood that bacteria could develop resistance to antibiotics, but were quick to assume that scientists were always one step ahead of the game. Today, this is no longer the case. As this MSNBC article points out, antibiotic resistant superbugs have become a global problem, and we may be heading towards a pre-antibiotic era of medication where we will be unable to treat simple infections.

How did we get to this point? For many years now, we have been living in an era of antibiotic dependence. Considered “wonder drugs,” antibiotics are too often prescribed inappropriately by doctors, or are being used far more widely than for the treatment of sick patients. According to the US FDA, 29 million pounds of antibiotics are given to food-producing animals every year, accounting for ~ 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US. The more that people are exposed to these antibiotics, the higher the likelihood of them developing resistance and rendering these medications ineffective. Read more »

MRSA: Unstoppable?

Research suggests that MRSA infection rates have soared 17-fold since 1995

Research suggests that MRSA infection rates have soared 17-fold since 1995

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a type of bacteria responsible for many difficult-to-treat infections. In fact, MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureas bacteria that has developed a resistance to many types of antibiotics, namely penicillin. MRSA infections are a major problem in hospital settings, as patients suffering from open wounds and weakened immune systems are more likely to get infected. These infections cost the U.S healthcare system 3.2 to 4.2 billion dollars every year[i] and kill more than 18 000 people. Read more »

Streptococcus “Strep” VS Staphylococcus “Staph”: How do they differ?

Streptococcus (above) Vs. Staphylococcus (bottom)

There are a lot of similarities between Streptococcus (Strep) and Staphylococcus (Staph) that lead to confusion. Both are:

  1. spherical, facultatively anaerobic gram-positive bacteria
  2. common members of the normal human microbiota
  3. capable of resisting many forms of important antibiotics
  4. some species are capable of being pathogenic, responsible for serious infections and even deaths directly or indirectly through virulence factors such as toxins

The key differentiating characteristics between these two groups of bacteria are Read more »

MRSA Transmission – How MRSA Spreads

Health care professionals are exposed to increasing numbers of patients with MRSA colonization or infection from both acute care and long-term care facilities. As MRSA is estimated to affect tens of thousands of people, costing the health care system $4-5 billion annually, awareness of MRSA and the sources of MRSA transmission has been steadily growing.

It is estimated that between 30-40% of the population are colonized with Staphylococcus aureus. A growing percentage of these people are carriers of an antibiotic resistant strain, generally referred to as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) . MRSA is a type of Gram- Read more »

MRSAid™: A Non-antibiotic Approach to MRSA Prevention

In as little as ten years, MRSA (short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) has become almost a household name. Today, everyone knows of someone who has died or has nearly died from a serious infection. MRSA is very likely to be one of the main culprits. This rampant infection rate was simply not the case ten years ago. In only one decade, we have seen the rise of antibiotic resistance to become one of the top ten global health issues that has affected both our communities and our economies. Indeed, the MRSA infection problem is estimated to cost US$3.2-$4.2 billion annually in the US alone1. Read more »

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