“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.
Plants are networkers
19.06.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
Digital Survival Training for Executives
13.06.2017 | NIT Northern Institute of Technology Management gGmbH
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine