We need an entirely new class of antibiotic, which scientists have been unable to create for more than 50 years. Until now, that is.
The orthopedic surgery wing of a Connecticut hospital, 2021.
Look up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Superbug!
Superbug? Is this another of the Marvel Comics Superheroes turned into a blockbuster box office smash?
No, actually, the superbug I refer to here is none other than MRSA, an acronym for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.
I did a lot of research, but there’s so much that conflicts. There are people who say you should just take antibiotics, but at some point, they don’t work anymore, and that’s the problem. That’s why MRSA is such a big deal.
And while the drug may be able to stave off bacterial resistance for some time (Hendrick says it’s hard to predict for how long, exactly), that doesn’t mean it will work forever. “These are really clever bacteria. I am certain that over decades, they will figure out a way to elude the therapy,” says Hedrick. “That’s why this is a never ending kind of fight.”
A new class of antibiotics chemically related to vitamin A have shown early promise by killing MRSA in mice.
A 1,200-year-old Anglo-Saxon remedy called Bald’s Eye Salve has proven “astonishingly” effective in battling the MRSA superbug, which kills more than 5,000 people a year in the US.
The potion, composed of garlic, onion or leeks, wine, and ox bile, kills up to 90 per cent of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in mice, according to scientists at the University of Nottingham.
Staph infections are one of the most pervasive and annoying bacterial infections faced by hospitals every year. It infects half a million people in the US every year, with symptoms ranging from skin infections to heart problems — and worse, some strains (commonly known as MRSA) have evolved to resist common antibiotics.
MRSA is found in some people's noses, and can cause dangerous infections. A new bacteria also found in people's noses produces an antibiotic that combats it.
Overall, among those patients, 6.8 percent were carrying MRSA, drug-resistant staph, in their nostrils. But the patients' likelihood of carrying MRSA was 2.76 times higher if they lived within one mile of a farm housing 2,500 or more pigs.
This increased awareness helped make the first decade of the 21st century the “decade of reactivity”. A European-wide Antibiotic Resistance: Prevention And Control (ARPAC) project showed MRSA levels were related to poorer hand hygiene performance and lack of adequate numbers of isolation side-rooms, findings which resonated with an English Healthcare Commission study in 2006. Several European countries have introduced prevention and control measures and improved antimicrobial stewardship.
Even as in-hospital infections are on the decline, more people are checking into hospitals with the drug-resistant staph infection than those with either HIV or influenza, combined.
The fact is, most healthy people aren't going to get MRSA, because their immune system will prevent it. Repeat: You don't need to wear a Hazmat suit in public, or stockpile Purell. I'm a firm believer that our society's anti-bacterial-everything obsession is a leading cause of superbugs like MRSA, and many researchers and members of the medical community agree.
Lurking in our homes, hospitals, schools, and farms is a terrifying pathogen that has been evolving faster than the medical community can track it or drug developers can create antibiotics to quell it. The pathogen is MRSA — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — and SUPERBUG is the first book to tell its intricate, threatening story in full.
It has become a never-ending fight against a hidden foe that resists conventional antibiotics. And in the sports world, where the bacteria can flourish in crowded gyms and locker rooms, and amid frequent skin-to-skin contact on the playing field, there is not even a scoreboard to definitively keep track of who is winning.
If you are admitted to one of the 320 intensive-care units at HCA Inc.’s hospitals, you will be bathed with germ-killing soap and administered an antibiotic nose ointment twice daily for five days.
HCA, the largest chain of for-profit hospitals in the U.S., has adopted this regimen after studying the best ways to reduce infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs” such as MRSA, which can be deadly for patients after surgery or illness.
In Jerry Groopman’s recent New Yorker piece on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, he quotes Dr. Louis Rice from the Cleveland VA, who uses the term “ESKAPE” bacteria: an acronym for Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumanni, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter.
Nothing against the mostly gram-negative nasties in this list (and the focus of the New Yorker article), but in my opinion there is one bacterial King of Pain, and it is MRSA — methcillin-resistant Staph aureus. Already a hospital-based problem when I began medical school in the 1980s, MRSA is now absolutely everywhere, and I’ll go out on a limb and state that it is the most common and worrisome source of serious infectious suffering we have out there right now.
Price has dedicated a large portion of his career to studying superbugs—those strains of bacteria that have evolved to become resistant against the medications we use to fight them. Illnesses caused by these bacteria may start off as something relatively common, like a urinary tract or skin infection, but become fatal because there are no tools left to stop them from spreading. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is one of the most common.
Beards have gotten a bad rap lately, at least from a germs perspective. But a resurfaced study of bearded hospital workers reveals that facial fuzz could protect your health.
But the truth is that MRSA has become so widespread that anyone can now become infected, even an otherwise healthy adult like myself. And I didn’t need to go anywhere special to pick it up. Scientists have found MRSA lingering on the seatbacks of airplanes, in meat from the supermarket, in coastal waters, and possibly even in the wind. Two percent of people harbor MRSA in their nose. Superbugs are everywhere.
How to fight chronic staph infections of the skin when antibiotics stop working.
The information on this website has been produced to help you understand MRSA and other healthcare associated infections. It is designed to answer some of the questions patients, the public and those who come into contact with people who are vulnerable to illness from healthcare associated infections often ask. It also discusses the diagnosis and treatment of MRSA.
The Global Leader and Voice in Awareness, Prevention, Support and Advocacy
You will find answers to 25 common questions we are asked about what some call merca, mursa or mercer infection.
Here you can read more about Zoonotic diseases, anitmicrobial resistance and the DARC sub group on MRSA in animals.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections.
Draining a skin infection may be the only treatment needed for a skin MRSA infection that has not spread. A health care provider should do this procedure. Do not try to pop open or drain the infection yourself. Keep any sore or wound covered with a clean bandage.
During the past four decades, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, has evolved from a controllable nuisance into a serious public health concern. MRSA is largely a hospital-acquired infection, in fact, one of the most common
MRSA lives harmlessly on the skin of around 1 in 30 people – usually in the nose, armpits, groin or buttocks. This is known as "colonisation" or "carrying" MRSA.
Though MRSA was previously known for being an infection found only in sick people in hospitals, it is now showing up in the general, healthy population. In some regions of the country, MRSA is the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections.