MRSA superbug spreads from big city hospitals to regional health centers, study suggests

Hospitals in large cities act as breeding grounds for the superbug MRSA prior to it spreading to smaller hospitals, a study suggests.

Researchers found evidence that shows for the first time how the spreads between different hospitals throughout the country.

The University of Edinburgh study involved looking at the genetic make-up of more than 80 variants of a major clone of found in hospitals.

Scientists were able to determine the entire of MRSA bacteria taken from infected patients.

They then identified in the bug which led to their emergence of new MRSA variants and traced their spread around the country

Dr Ross Fitzgerald, of The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, who led the study said: "We found that variants of MRSA circulating in regional hospitals probably originated in large city hospitals. The high levels of patient traffic in large hospitals means they act as a hub for transmission between patients, who may then be transferred or treated in regional hospitals."

MRSA – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – first started to appear around 50 years ago following the introduction of antibiotics, to which the bacteria has become increasingly resistant.

Paul McAdam, of The Roslin Institute and first author of the paper, said: "Our findings suggest that the referral of patients to different hospitals is a major cause of MRSA transmission around the country. This knowledge could help in finding ways to prevent the spread of infections.

The paper published in the journal PNAS, also found that the MRSA strain studied evolved from antibiotic-sensitive bacteria that existed more than 100 years ago.


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More information: “Molecular tracing of the emergence, adaptation, and transmission of hospital-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus,” by Paul R. McAdam et al. PNAS, 2012.
Citation: MRSA superbug spreads from big city hospitals to regional health centers, study suggests (2012, May 14) retrieved 15 September 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-05-superbug-big-city-hospitals-regional.html
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Dug
May 15, 2012
In the US you - can hang meat in most hospitals, and trust me it will take more than one blanket to keep you from frost bite. We still have MRSA.

May 20, 2012
Last year, a group proved that certain copper surfaces prevent MRSA spreading because the bacteria can't live on it.

There has been no adoption of coppery plated doorknobs or work spaces at the local hospital since then, so I'm wondering if hospitals even bother to check the most recent medical breakthroughs, or if they just do business as usual?

I just saw another incident of somebody with a "flesh eating bacteria" having both hands and both feet and part of her abdomen amputated. I don't know if it's MRSA, but I thought with the new technologies in materials sciences, somebody would have solved this problem by now.

If researchers spent as much time and money on MRSA as they do useless gadget technology, this problem would have been solved long time ago.

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