By Ken Buben, President, FancyScrubs.com
New Strain of MRSA Found
The study, led by Dr Mark Holmes at the University of Cambridge, identified the new strain in milk from dairy cows while researching mastitis (a bacterial infection which occurs in the cows’ udders).
The new strain’s genetic makeup differs greatly from previous strains, which means that the ‘gold standard’ molecular tests currently used to identify MRSA – a polymerase chain reaction technique (PCR) and slide agglutination testing – do not detect this new strain. The research findings are published today in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
To find these strains in humans and cows is worrisome but pasteurization of milk will stop it from entering the food supply. Workers at dairy farms could have a higher chance of contracting MRSA.
The scientists discovered the antibiotic resistant strain while researching S. aureus, a bacterium known to cause bovine mastitis. Despite the strain being able to grow in the presence of antibiotics, when they attempted to use the standard molecular tests available – which work by identifying the presence of the gene responsible for methicillin resistance (the mecA gene) – the tests came back negative for MRSA.
The new strain was found in samples in Scotland, England, Denmark, Ireland and Germany. Scientists are not sure whether the cows are infecting people or if people are infecting the cows.
Not all MRSA or Staph infections will require antibiotics, but some will. And, some strains of MRSA are now resistant to all antibiotics. Using the incorrect antibiotic can increase your chances of MRSA. Antibiotics should be used prudently, as their overuse and misuse has created antibiotic-resistant Superbugs like MRSA.
If you are in the healthcare be sure to always wash hands properly, disinfect all surfaces and wear protective medical uniforms. And stay tuned for the latest health updates on infectious diseases here at the HighTechnologyScrubs blog. We welcome your comments here too!