Drug-resistant MRSA bacteria: Here to stay in both hospital, community

by Cather­ine Zan­donella
A colorized scanning electron micrograph of a white blood cell eating an antibiotic resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly known as MRSA. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

(Medical Xpress)—The drug-resistant bacteria known as MRSA, once confined to hospitals but now widespread in communities, will likely continue to exist in both settings as separate strains, according to a new study.

The prediction that both will coexist is reassuring because previous projections indicated that the more invasive and fast-growing community strains would overtake and eliminate hospital strains, possibly posing a threat to public health.

Researchers at Princeton University used mathematical models to explore what will happen to community and hospital MRSA strains, which differ genetically. Originally MRSA, which is short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, was confined to hospitals. However, community-associated strains emerged in the past decade and can spread widely from person to person in schools, athletic facilities and homes.

Both community and hospital strains cause diseases ranging from skin and soft-tissue infections to and septicemia. Hospital MRSA is resistant to numerous and is very difficult to treat, while community MRSA is resistant to fewer antibiotics.

The new study found that these differences in , combined with more aggressive antibiotic usage patterns in hospitals versus the community setting, over time will permit hospital strains to survive despite the competition from community strains. Hospital-based antibiotic usage is likely to successfully treat patients infected with community strains, preventing the newcomer strains from spreading to new patients and gaining the foothold they need to out-compete the hospital strains.

The researchers made their predictions by using mathematical models of MRSA transmission that take into account data on drug-usage, resistance profiles, person-to-person contact, and patient age.

More information: Kouyos R., Klein E. & Grenfell B. (2013). Hospital-Community Interactions Foster Coexistence between Methicillin-Resistant Strains of Staphylococcus aureus. PLoS Pathogens, 9 (2) e1003134. PMID: 23468619: www.plospathogens.org/article/… journal.ppat.1003134

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Moebius
not rated yet Mar 16, 2013
When are we going to have sense enough to design hospitals so they can be sterilized rather than comfortable? You can't sterilize wallpaper. I don't go to hospitals to have my mood lifted and I definitely don't go to catch a dire disease I didn't have, I go to get cured.
Doug_Huffman
not rated yet Mar 16, 2013
Mister One-Sided evidently doesn't know much about cleaning a hospital. I learned as a swamper in HS in the Sixties.

An operating suite can be sterilized at some considerable expense. An emergency room is kept clean and its contents antiseptic but they're too heavily used to afford the time and expense of sterilization. I believe that liquid carbon dioxide and isopropanol mist is the cleaner of choice.

Hospitals are good to avoid, as folks go there to die.

At home, I use a chlorhexidine body wash with my Saturday night bath.
norman
not rated yet Mar 16, 2013
Answer to this problem: put the all the equipment into big trucks and go back to small, local hospitals. Let the doctors and equipment move to the patients. Industrial scale hospitals have pushed previously unheard of pathogens to become endemic. Lorry sized loads can be run through similar radiation treatment to that used on some food products. If a small hospital get infected just shut it and fumigate it.
JeffHal
not rated yet Mar 16, 2013
I appreciate the comments above and the honesty of the article, but am frustrated to hear the only options people have are relatively unrealistic, OR they address the disinfection options for people, but not the HC environments where MRSA is being transmitted. How could a hospital pack up all of their equipment every time they need to disinfect and transport and reinstall to use radiation treatments? Is it realistic that we'll just shut down big hospitals and relocate everyone to smaller hospitals? Can you really shut down a hospital to fumigate? Can everyone bathe nightly in a chlorhexidine body wash? Again, not addressing the environment. An EPA approved four-quat alcohol formula distributed through a CO2 mist will kill all pathogens and can be applied directly to medical environments and operating theaters, including directly to medical equipment without damage. This kind of solution addresses the environment, without the need to shut down rooms for more than 20-30 minutes.
JeffHal
not rated yet Mar 16, 2013
I appreciate the comments above and the honesty of the article, but am frustrated to hear the only options people suggest are either unrealistic, OR they address the disinfection options for people, but not the environments where MRSA is being transmitted. How could a hospital pack up all of their equipment every time they need to disinfect and transport and reinstall to use radiation treatments? Is it realistic that we'll just shut down big hospitals and relocate everyone to smaller hospitals? Can you really shut down a hospital to fumigate? Can everyone bathe nightly in a chlorhexidine body wash? Again, not addressing the environment. An EPA approved four-quat alcohol formula distributed through a CO2 mist will kill all pathogens and can be applied directly to medical environments and operating theaters, including directly to medical equipment without damage. This kind of solution addresses the environment, without the need to shut down rooms for more than 20-30 minutes.
bonedoctor
not rated yet Mar 17, 2013
thank you JeffHal. let's never let anyone in a hospital without thorough decontamination. if they die from their heart attack, we will certainly be ok with it because they may have spread MRSA. Same with trauma patients. maybe disinfect the vehicle prior to the jaws of life?

and people in cubicles shouldn't do their NCAA brackets and if one generation was faithful there would be no VD. hasn't happened yet. Screw Pharma and hospitals and greedy doctors and everything will get better.
just not in this world.
_enari_awkes
not rated yet Apr 04, 2013
Google MRSA and cannabis OR Cannabis and Alzheimer's, then Learn that potheads dont get either one!
Our government needs to be held Liable for our health, if they outlaw a substance proven to be essential to our health.