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Monday, February 13, 2012

Doctors Frightened of MRSA

And for Good Reason!

 – FLAGSTAFF, Arizona — A relatively new type of 
drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus could represent 
the world’s next bacterial epidemic, an environmental 
health expert said here today at a conference for 
science writers. 

The superbug, called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
strain 398, or MRSA ST398, was first identified in an infant in the Netherlands in 1994 and 
traced back to her family’s pigs. 
Now, researchers are starting to see more serious infections and some of the cases reveal
 no direct link to livestock, said Lance B. Price, director of the Center for 
Microbiomics and Human Health at The Translational Genomics Research Institute 
(TGen), in Flagstaff. “The rate of human [ST398] infections is going up in Denmark 
and the Netherlands,” Price said. “We are just looking at the beginning of an 
epidemic.” Price made his comments during a presentation at the 49th annual 
New Horizons in Science meeting, organized by the Council for the Advancement 
of Science Writing. The mechanism for transmission in these newer ST398 cases 
currently is unknown. Researchers are considering various explanations including 
human-to-human exposure, contaminated meat or changes in the organism that make it spread 
more easily.   
One in ten pigs gets the MRSA bacterium in livestock transport trucks, while sixty percent of pigs in slaughterhouses have the bacterium. Wageningen University veterinary researcher Els Broens finds this ‘very disconcerting’.
Broens trailed 117 pigs from the farm to the slaughterhouse. She inspected them for the presence of MRSA before and after the journey to the slaughterhouse, and after they were sedated before the slaughter. While none of the pigs had MRSA before the journey, 10 percent of them tested MRSA-positive afterwards. After the sedation in the slaughterhouse, the bacterium was found in sixty percent of the pigs. This research work was carried out jointly by Wageningen UR, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Animal Health Service (GD).

Already, ST398 was recently found in about half of the pigs and farmers tested in Iowa. ST398 probably started out as a human-associated strain that was treatable with methicillin, a recent analysis by Price and his colleagues has revealed. Animal husbandry practices subsequently allowed the strain to spread into livestock. 
Meat production worldwide involves the use of life-saving human-class antibiotics as a preventive measure or production tool to keep animals healthy. However, the bacterial die-off then exercises a selection pressure on the remaining smaller population of bacteria, giving rise to antibiotic-resistant strains. 
With ST398, that probably led to drug-resistant strains of the bug, which were then passed back to humans via contact with livestock. “It’s a pretty sad cycle really,” Price said. Staph aureus infections can cause skin and soft tissue infections, respiratory tract infections like pneumonia, bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the blood) and endocarditis (inflammation of the inner heart). 
Until the use of antibiotics in the developed world became widespread in the 1940s, these infections were often fatal. A rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the past two decades means the door is open to a return to a dire medical scenario that prevailed nearly a century ago. In fact, even now, methicillin-resistant Staph aureus kills more people in the U.S. than HIV, Price said. 
Industrial-scale livestock farming practices are often the culprit in the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. There are 9 billion livestock animals in the U.S. (mostly broiler chickens) and 29 million pounds of active antibiotics are administered to food animals in this country each year. The animals are raised in crowded and perhaps filthy settings. 
The result is a profitable meat industry that makes this food affordable for much of the nation’s population (at a significant, long-term environmental cost when scaled up to current levels) but also one of the most effective systems for the evolution and transmission of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that an engineer could devise, Price said. These strains persist on animal carcasses and then are passed on to humans via the meat we purchase and eat. –Scientific American
In the past several years, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has received increased media attention. The bacterium was associated primarily with post-surgical infections or infections acquired after prolonged stays in health care facilities (such as nursing homes) or in people with weakened immune systems.

More attention was called to the pathogen when media began to report on infections acquired outside of health-care facilities. These community-acquired infections happened in locker rooms, gyms, military facilities, prisons and day-care facilities, among other places. These reports heightened concerns because the people affected were not considered to have weakened immune systems or other underlying conditions that would predispose them to infection.

Companion animals including cats, dogs and horses have been found to carry MRSA. Studies have found that veterinarians and others in close contact with these animals also may carry the bacterium.

In late 2007, attention was called to the pork industry and its products when the media reported on a study by Canadian researchers that found MRSA on pig farms2. MRSA had previously been reported in pigs and pork products in Holland in 20063. Since then, research conducted in the United States also has found MRSA in pigs in some farms and in a small proportion of pork products. MRSA also has been reported in pork producers and veterinarians who visit pig farms.

MRSA kills more Americans than AIDS

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.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

MRSA is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus
bacteria. S. aureus is a common type of bacteria that 
normally live on the skin and sometimes in the nasal 
passages of healthy people. MRSA refers to S. aureus 
strains that do not respond to some of the antibiotics 
used to treat staph infections.

The bacteria can cause infection when they enter the 
body through a cut, sore, catheter, or breathing tube. 
The infection can be minor and local (for example, a 
pimple), or more serious (involving the heart, lung, 
blood, or bone).

Uploaded by  on Dec 12, 2007 (It's only gotten worse since then!)

MRSA "Superbug" has become more and more difficult to treat and it has migrated from hospitals
into the  community. The general public can take preventative measures to stop the spread of this 
Bacteria byavoiding skin to skin contact, covering cuts and scrapes, and washing your hands frequently. 
To view all of icyou's videos, please visit

Preventing MRSA
  • Wash your hands. Careful hand washing remains your 
  • best defense against germs. Scrub hands briskly for at 
  • least 15 seconds, then dry them with a disposable towel 
  • and use another towel to turn off the faucet. Carry a small
  •  bottle of hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent 
  • alcohol for times when you don't have access to soap 
  • and water.

  • Keep wounds covered. Keep cuts and abrasions clean 
  • and covered with sterile, dry bandages until they heal. 
  • The pus from infected sores may contain MRSA, and 
  • keeping wounds covered will help keep the bacteria 
  • from spreading.

  • Keep personal items personal. Avoid sharing personal 
  • items such as towels, sheets, razors, clothing and athletic
  • equipment. MRSA spreads on contaminated objects as 
  • well as through direct contact.

  • Shower after athletic games or practices. Shower 
  • immediately after each game or practice. Use soap and water.
  • Don't share towels.

  • Sanitize linens. If you have a cut or sore, wash towels and 
  • bed linens in a washing machine set to the hottest water 
  • setting (with added bleach, if possible) and dry them in a hot 
  • dryer. Wash gym and athletic clothes after each wearing.
WebMed Slideshow: Closer Look at MRSA

Contributing Sources:

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  1. The malignant spread of infections and disease is overwhelmingly a DIRECT RESULT of uncontrolled trade and illegal immigration FROM unsanitary Third World countries such as Pakistan, India and the southern reaches of the Western Hemisphere, i.e.: from Mexico & parts South TO modernized but unprepared areas like Western Europe and the U.S.

    Just ONE MORE reason to rescind "fair trade" agreements which flood our markets with poorly treated, uninspected foreign produce, livestock, (and some processed meats). SECURE our nation's borders and ENFORCE existing immigration laws which serve to screen and immunize applicants as they are processed through the steps of attaining LEGAL citizenship.

    Protectionist attitude ? In THIS case, - YOU BET ! !

  2. This article is just flat out scary!!! MRSA bacteria is just getting out of control! I do know here in the USA there are a number companies working on non-leaching, non-heavy metals antimicrobials, which are different, because they do not allow the bacteria to adapt and will not allow for cross contamination. Traditional cleaners and disinfectants most often do. The one I am familiar with is called Monofoil. We are using it in our production plant, as it is USDA food contact safe. From our swab analysis that we are doing we are seeing the most clean environment we have ever had. The next testing should be to be to use it on animal coats as it is not harmful to the animals.

  3. My son had MRSA, and he was perfectly normal before he got it. It started in his injured pelvis and hip area in 2008. Wash your hands often! He was in the hospital for 3 months, and in ICU for 3 weeks on a ventilator. The Doctors and nurses were telling me that he was probably going to die. It is a horrible disease, it got into his heart, and joints, and other areas. He had 9 septic joints from the MRSA, and now his left hip joint that was previously injured, and got MRSA in it 2 days after the injuries, is permanently damaged. He can only limp to class, with very strong pain medications. He had to have 48 surgeries to clean the MRSA out of his body, 3 heart surgeries, the MRSA made a very large hole in his mitral valve, they were able to fix that. He may have to have the other 8 infected joints with MRSA replaced at an early age. He has to get a hip replacement also. It was a very horrible infection, he has now been cleared of the infection, but, it kills a person in 10 days when it gets into your blood. Sometimes it is diagnosed as the flu, and blood must be taken to determine the MRSA.

    1. Thank you for your valuableaccount of your son's MRSA troubles, Donna. My heart goes out to you. This MRSA is a terrible thing these days - it's husband's ex-wife died of it a few years back-she got it in a hospital, and we know of a couple others who are fighting it.
      My husband will be having heart surgery in a few weeks, so we really have to be on guard! Yes, wash hands often!

  4. My son was 13 at the time he got MRSA in the blood. It started in a hip and pelvis injury, 2 days after he got the injury. He was in the hospital for 3 months, and in ICU on the ventilator for 3 weeks. Wash your hands. When MRSA gets into your bloodstream, you only live for 10 days, and it is misdiagnosed sometimes as the flu. My son had to have 48 surgeries to clean the MRSA out of his body, it got into his heart and put a big hole in his heart. He has had to have 3 heart surgeries, one opened heart, they were able to fix his heart. He had 9 septic joints from the MRSA, the joint that was previously injured and injured pelvis area with the MRSA in it was ruined. He can only walk with a limp now, after taken daily pain medications, controlled substance ones, and he will have to have a hip replacement. He had 9 septic joints from the MRSA, 8 of them may have to be replaced at an early age. The doctors were telling me that he was probably going to die, and he did not, he was very very lucky! His liver and kidneys were shutting down, he got pnumonia, his body had stopped producing red or white blood cells, he had no platelets. This is a very fast moving and aggressive disease, so, I would recommend that if you think you have the flu, have your doctor take blood to make sure that it is not MRSA in the blood. My son had no outward signs of MRSA, no sores, or rashes. He had high blood pressure, and a very fast heart rate also. It was a very scarry thing to go through for him, and me.


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