“The new community associated MRSA strains appear to be more virulent and more easily spread between people”, says Dr Marina Morgan from the Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation NHS Trust. “These community associated versions have been found in people with few, if any, reasons to have MRSA. Typically they haven’t recently been in hospital, or and are not looking after or living with people with MRSA.”
Although more antibiotics are still effective against community MRSA than against the hospital MRSA, the community associated infections are often more virulent. Most can also produce a toxin called Panton-Valentine leucocidin, or PVL, that kills white blood cells – our bodies’ key defence against invasive bacteria.
“Although the resistant strain is not yet widespread in the UK, we have seen increasing numbers of PVL- toxin producing Staphylococcus aureus infections, mainly presenting with recurrent boils and abscesses. This excessive production of white cells to compensate for those killed by the PVL toxin leads to recurrent severe boils and abscesses. The MRSA is easily spread by close contact, such as in families, nurseries and athletic teams”, says Dr Morgan. “These new strains of bacteria appear to be able to stick to damaged skin and airways better than hospital MRSA strains, and they also multiply at a faster rate.
A minority of patients carrying these PVL-producing staphylococci can suffer severe invasive infections such as septicaemia or a lethal form of pneumonia where the lung tissue itself is destroyed by the toxins. With this type of necrotising PVL pneumonia, even with the strongest antibiotics, more than 60% of otherwise healthy young and fit people will die”.
So far community associated MRSA strains are mainly spreading in America, where they are a major cause of infection in children. Whilst doctors do not know if the bacteria could spread as rapidly in the UK, they are already worried. These new strains of bacteria appear to be able to stick to damaged skin and airways better than hospital MRSA strains, and they also multiply at a faster rate.
“These infections are easily missed clinically, where they can be dismissed as just recurrent boils and overlooked until a serious infection develops”, says Dr Morgan. “Then, with severe invasive infections like pneumonia, early diagnosis is vital as treatment with the correct antibiotics and massive doses of immunoglobulin can save children’s lives”.
If the community associated MRSA strains take hold and spread in the UK as they have in the USA then many more patients with unsuspected MRSA will be admitted to hospitals, given the wrong antibiotics, and when doctors finally realise the infection is MRSA, by the time patients get the correct treatment it may be too late.
Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany
02.05.2018 | FENS - Federation of European Neuroscience Societies
Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"
13.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Genetik
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
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