Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mathematical Model Predicts Spread Of 'Super-bug' In L.A. County Jail

Date:
August 16, 2007
Source:
University of California - Los Angeles
Summary:
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that mimics a particularly nasty and ongoing outbreak in the Los Angeles County Jail (among others) of the flesh eating bacteria Staphylococcus aureus.

Researchers at UCLA have developed a mathematical model that mimics a particularly nasty and ongoing outbreak in the Los Angeles County Jail (LACJ) of the flesh eating bacteria Staphylococcus Aureus.

Reporting in the September issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology, Sally Blower, a professor of biomathematics at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, and colleagues constructed a simple model of the outbreak in order to assess its severity, predict the consequences of a catastrophic outbreak in the jail, and suggest effective interventions to stop or control it.

Blower was intrigued by the outbreak in the LACJ of community-acquired meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), a "super bug" that's difficult to eradicate, and easy to catch through crowded conditions and less than optimal hygiene. When someone is infected, the bug can cause illnesses that range from minor skin infections, to severe ulcers on the skin, to life-threatening diseases.

A major risk factor for CA-MRSA has been identified as incarceration. While large outbreaks have been reported in jails around the country, the researchers choose the LACJ for two reasons--it is the nation's largest jail, housing some 165,000 inmates per year and 20,000 inmates at any given time, and it has a high rate of CA-MRSA--an outbreak was first reported in 2002 and continues to this day. To date, nearly 8,500 cases have been reported in the jail, and, said Blower, "Inmates, once they are released, are spreading the pathogen throughout the community as well."

With cooperation from the LACJ, the researchers compiled information that determined booking rates or inflow, duration of stay or outflow, the rate of transmission of the bug within the jail, and the three "states" the prisoners were in while imprisoned: not infected, asymptomatic but infectious (colonized bugs living on the skin), or infected and infectious (ulcers appearing on the skin).

The researchers used the data to establish the parameters of the disease and then built a mathematical model that established the extent of the outbreak, and suggested the best way to control the pathogen.

The research showed that the LACJ outbreak is extremely large but not catastrophic, but would have become catastrophic if inmates had been incarcerated for more than two to two-and-a-half months. If catastrophic, thousands of infected inmates would have been released each month. Their model also revealed that the outbreak was sustained because of a continuous inflow of colonized and infected individuals who had picked up the bug from the community and brought it into the jail, and not from within-jail transmission.

"And that's the value of such modeling," said Blower, "because one of the things it can do is help to pinpoint where the best point is for intervention which, in this case, is at the point of inflow. This model also shows that it is very likely that jails are "hot-spots" for contributing to the spread of CA-MRSA in the community". More complex models can be developed using the simple transmission model as a platform, so that additional quantitative insight can be gained into the outbreak dynamics of such nasty pathogens.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health. Other authors included Emily Kajita, Justin T. Okano, Erin N. Bodine, and Scott P. Layne, all of UCLA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Los Angeles. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Los Angeles. "Mathematical Model Predicts Spread Of 'Super-bug' In L.A. County Jail." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070815163226.htm>.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2007, August 16). Mathematical Model Predicts Spread Of 'Super-bug' In L.A. County Jail. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070815163226.htm
University of California - Los Angeles. "Mathematical Model Predicts Spread Of 'Super-bug' In L.A. County Jail." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070815163226.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

Apple Enters Mobile Payment Business

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Apple is making a strategic bet with the launch of Apple Pay, the mobile pay service aimed at turning your iPhone into your wallet. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins