Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Superbug' Breast Infections Controllable In Nursing Mothers, Researchers Find

Date:
September 2, 2008
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Many nursing mothers who have been hospitalized for breast abscesses are afflicted with the "superbug" methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, but according to new research, conservative treatment can deal with the problem.

Many nursing mothers who have been hospitalized for breast abscesses are afflicted with the "superbug" methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, but according to new research by UT Southwestern Medical Center physicians, conservative treatment can deal with the problem.

The study focused on hospitalized women with mastitis, and showed that MRSA was much more likely to be found in those who had both mastitis (an inflammation of the milk glands) and abscesses (pockets of infection).

"The take-home message is that a patient with mastitis does not necessarily need an antibiotic against MRSA," said Dr. George Wendel, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and senior author of the study, which appears in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology. "She will improve with a less specific antibiotic as long as she also empties her breasts, either through feeding or pumping, and if there's an abscess, gets it treated."

The study also showed that if a nursing mother has an abscess, she does not immediately need antibiotics against MRSA, but can be switched to them if tests reveal she has MRSA.

The study was designed to determine which antibiotic treatment is best for severe cases of mastitis, which can be caused by clogged milk ducts with or without infection, and breast abscesses, which are caused by bacterial infections, generally by aureus. There are many strains of staph, one of which is MRSA.

Treating mastitis or breast abscesses immediately with powerful drugs that fight MRSA carries a risk of creating even more antibiotic-resistant strains of staph, Dr. Wendel said.

"The physician can take the time to test the patient to determine what kind of bacteria she has," Dr. Wendel said. "We found that you're not going to put the patient at a disadvantage if you start her on antibiotics while you wait for culture results, then switch her to more powerful medication if she has MRSA."

The study involved 136,459 women who delivered at Parkland Memorial Hospital between 1997 and 2005. Of those, 127 were hospitalized with mastitis, which tends to strike younger women having their first child.

The researchers found that about 59 percent of the women with both mastitis and abscesses had MRSA, while only 2 percent of women with mastitis alone had MRSA. Because the study tracked women who had been hospitalized, there is no way to know whether this proportion is the same in women treated for mastitis on an outpatient basis, Dr. Wendel said.

MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, but the researchers found that even in cases when the exact cause of the mastitis or abscess had not yet been determined, and the women initially received antibiotics that don't affect MRSA, all eventually recovered completely.

During the study, when tests showed that a woman had MRSA, she was switched to vancomycin, an antibiotic effective against it.

About 2 percent to 10 percent of all nursing mothers develop some sort of breast inflammation such as mastitis, the researchers said. Symptoms of mastitis include unexplained fever and deep soreness or swelling in one breast but not the other.

In contrast to mastitis, an abscess is caused by a localized infection, which causes pain in a specific area that can feel hot to the touch and appear red on the skin.

"Women should seek medical care if they have any symptoms or concerns for breast infections," said Dr. Irene Stafford, resident in obstetrics and gynecology and lead author of the study.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were Drs. Jennifer Hernandez and Vanessa Laibl Rogers, both assistant professors of obstetrics and gynecology; and Drs. Jeanne Sheffield and Scott Roberts, both associate professors of obstetrics and gynecology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "'Superbug' Breast Infections Controllable In Nursing Mothers, Researchers Find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080831114721.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2008, September 2). 'Superbug' Breast Infections Controllable In Nursing Mothers, Researchers Find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080831114721.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "'Superbug' Breast Infections Controllable In Nursing Mothers, Researchers Find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080831114721.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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