Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil

Date:
April 17, 2014
Source:
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Summary:
A new superbug that caused a bloodstream infection in a Brazilian patient has been identified by an international research team. The new superbug is part of a class of highly-resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which is a major cause of hospital and community-associated infections. The superbug has also acquired high levels of resistance to vancomycin, the most common and least expensive antibiotic used to treat severe MRSA infections worldwide.

UTHealth researchers reporting on a superbug in Brazil (from left to right) are Barbara E. Murray, M.D.; Truc T. Tran, Pham.D; Jose M. Munita, M.D.; Diana Panesso, Ph.D; and Cesar Arias, M.D., Ph.D.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

An international research team led by Cesar A. Arias, M.D., Ph.D., at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has identified a new superbug that caused a bloodstream infection in a Brazilian patient. The report appeared in the April 17 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Related Articles


The new superbug is part of a class of highly-resistant bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which is a major cause of hospital and community-associated infections. The superbug has also acquired high levels of resistance to vancomycin, the most common and least expensive antibiotic used to treat severe MRSA infections worldwide.

Most worrisome is that genomic analyses indicated that this novel vancomycin-resistant MRSA superbug belongs to a genetic lineage that is commonly found outside hospitals (designated community-associated MRSA), said Arias, the report's senior author and an associate professor of medicine, microbiology and molecular genetics at the UTHealth Medical School.

Previous research has suggested that community-associated MRSA can disseminate rapidly among people and is responsible for the majority of skin and soft tissue infections (sores) in patients of all ages. Some of these infections can become serious and even fatal.

Since community-associated MRSA is thought to be transmitted mainly by skin contact, the new superbug may affect not only sick people or those with a weakened immune system but also healthy individuals, according to Arias. Apart from causing localized skin infections, the MRSA superbug has the ability to invade the bloodstream and may become a serious threat.

"This is the first-ever reported bloodstream infection caused by a highly vancomycin-resistant MRSA bacteria," Arias said. "If we lose vancomycin, it would make it very difficult and expensive to treat these infections," he said.

Arias and his colleagues conducted microbiological and genetic analyses of an MRSA superbug recovered from the blood of a 35-year-old Brazilian man and identified a novel transferable genetic element (plasmid) that carries the genes necessary for vancomycin resistance (vanA gene cluster).

"The presence and dissemination of community-associated MRSA containing vanA could become a serious public health concern," report the authors in the paper.

However, since this is the only documented case of this type of infection, Arias said, it is too early to tell if this specific superbug will lead to a bigger threat.

Barbara E. Murray, M.D., report co-author and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UTHealth Medical School, said, "The worst resistance possible has now appeared in the community-associated MRSA clone."

What is the next step?

"There will have to be increased surveillance in South America and worldwide in the future," said Murray, who is the holder of the J. Ralph Meadows Professorship in Internal Medicine at the UTHealth Medical School and president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Flαvia Rossi, Lorena Diaz, Aye Wollam, Diana Panesso, Yanjiao Zhou, Sandra Rincon, Apurva Narechania, Galen Xing, Thais S.R. Di Gioia, Andrι Doi, Truc T. Tran, Jinnethe Reyes, Jose M. Munita, Lina P. Carvajal, Alejandra Hernandez-Roldan, Denise Brandγo, Inneke Marie van der Heijden, Barbara E. Murray, Paul J. Planet, George M. Weinstock, Cesar A. Arias. Transferable Vancomycin Resistance in a Community-Associated MRSA Lineage. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 370 (16): 1524 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1303359

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417085552.htm>.
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. (2014, April 17). New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417085552.htm
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "New MRSA superbug emerges in Brazil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140417085552.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
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