Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

MRSA on the rise in hospital outpatients, new study finds; Seven-fold increase in potentially lethal superbug

Date:
November 27, 2009
Source:
Burness Communications
Summary:
The community-associated strain of the deadly superbug MRSA -- an infection-causing bacteria resistant to most common antibiotics -- poses a far greater health threat than previously known and is making its way into hospitals, according to a new study.

The community-associated strain of the deadly superbug MRSA -- an infection-causing bacteria resistant to most common antibiotics -- poses a far greater health threat than previously known and is making its way into hospitals, according to a study in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Related Articles


The new threat is easily picked up in fitness centers, schools, and other public places and has increased the overall burden of MRSA within hospitals, the report found.

The study, which analyzed data from more than 300 microbiology labs serving hospitals all over the United States, found a seven-fold increase in the proportion of "community-associated" strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in outpatient hospital units between 1999 and 2006.

According to study authors, this increase threatens patient safety because doctors and patients often move back and forth between inpatient and outpatient units of a hospital.

"This emerging epidemic of community-associated MRSA strains appears to add to the already high MRSA burden in hospitals," said Ramanan Laxminarayan, Principal Investigator for Extending the Cure, a project that examines policy solutions to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance based at the Washington, D.C. think-tank, Resources for the Future. Extending the Cure is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio, which funds innovative ideas that may lead to breakthroughs in the future of health and health care.

Over the length of the study, researchers found that the proportion of MRSA increased more than 90 percent among outpatients with staph and now accounts for more than 50 percent of all Staphylococcus aureus infections. The findings suggest that this was due almost entirely to an increase in community-associated strains, which jumped from 3.6 percent of all MRSA infections to 28.2 percent -- a seven-fold jump from 1999 to 2006. Similar increases in inpatients suggest that these strains are spreading rapidly into hospitals as well.

MRSA kills an estimated 20,000 people in the United States each year. The superbug, which is resistant to most common antibiotics, can attack wounds and trigger potentially lethal blood stream infections. Community-associated strains, while generally less virulent and susceptible to more antibiotics, can still cause significant morbidity and mortality.

"MRSA has generally been a significant problem only in hospitals," said Eili Klein, the report's lead author and researcher at Resources for the Future. "But the findings from this study suggest that there is a significant reservoir in the community as well." This community reservoir leads to a dangerous spread of community-associated strains from outpatient units into hospitals, according to Klein.

To curtail this spread, hospitals will need to step up infection control procedures, including those practiced in outpatient units. This study and others suggest that the most effective way of containing MRSA and other superbugs is by employing surveillance and infection control on a regional basis.

"The movement of community-associated strains into the hospital also points to the urgent need for rapid tests that can identify the strain of MRSA," Klein said. Some MRSA strains, particularly those coming into the outpatient departments, are vulnerable to a wider range of cheap antibiotics. With a rapid test, a hospital doctor could prescribe a cheaper, but still effective drug to combat an infection -- a strategy that might reduce health care costs and help preserve the nation's supply of antibiotics, according to authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Burness Communications. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Burness Communications. "MRSA on the rise in hospital outpatients, new study finds; Seven-fold increase in potentially lethal superbug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124082801.htm>.
Burness Communications. (2009, November 27). MRSA on the rise in hospital outpatients, new study finds; Seven-fold increase in potentially lethal superbug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124082801.htm
Burness Communications. "MRSA on the rise in hospital outpatients, new study finds; Seven-fold increase in potentially lethal superbug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091124082801.htm (accessed December 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Americans Drink More in the Winter

Americans Drink More in the Winter

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) The BACtrack breathalyzer app analyzed Americans' blood alcohol content and found out a whole lot of interesting things about their drinking habits. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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