Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

VUMC researchers find drug-resistant bacteria MRSA a growing threat

18.03.2005


Infectious diseases researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are noticing a significant increase in the number of infections due to Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and the number of asymptomatic individuals who harbor the organism in their bodies.



In fact, in a recent analysis of children seen in 2003 at the emergency department of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, approximately 60 percent of the skin infections due to the staphylococcus germ were due to MRSA, an organism that can produce a variety of physical manifestations across a spectrum, from the very minor, all the way to causing death. Now a new study done by VUMC researchers confirms a dramatic spread of the organism that is being harbored in the noses of healthy children.

"What this tells us is that we’re more likely to find MRSA in this population than we are the typical staphylococcus organism that is susceptible to methicillin," said Buddy Creech, M.D., a fellow in pediatric infectious diseases and the lead investigator on the study. "The problem with this organism is that it seems to behave differently, with a tendency to cause skin abscesses and pneumonia."


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MRSA is a type of bacteria that is resistant to a class of antibiotics that include methicillin and other more commonly prescribed variants such as oxacillin, amoxicillin and other penicillin-based drugs. Previously MRSA was seen only in the hospital in patients with underlying diseases or compromised immune systems. Now the organism appears to be common among people everywhere, including those in communal settings such as the military, prisons, daycare facilities, and on athletic teams. The CDC estimates that roughly 130,000 people are hospitalized with MRSA each year.

MRSA can enter the body through even the smallest opening in the skin and infiltrate the bloodstream. Once MRSA enters the bloodstream the bacteria can cause devastating staph infections. The organism can be difficult to control because its early symptoms are so benign, and because those who are infected frequently delay seeking medical intervention until the organism has begun to spread.

Creech and colleagues visited one of Nashville’s large community pediatric practices, and the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Outpatient Pediatric Clinic, to swab the noses of 500 otherwise healthy children to collect samples. Three years earlier a similar study had been done in the same practices and Creech wanted to see whether things had changed.

"We were just trying to get a sense of how common MRSA actually is in the community," he said. "We’ve known for over a half century that staphylococcus likes to live in the nose and that’s where it thrives. If it’s not in the nose, you probably don’t have it. So we went out and collected these samples." What Creech and colleagues discovered was that 9.2 percent of the children from this sampling were positive for MRSA in their noses. "That’s up dramatically from three years ago when only 1 percent had MRSA," he said. "What we are able to show is that the increasing incidence of this organism is not just an isolated phenomenon among football players, prisoners and others in close communal settings," he said. "These are young healthy children who are coming in for well child visits and they have the resistant organisms in their noses."

Creech says the next mystery to be solved is why MRSA is increasing in healthy people. "This study tells us there are a lot of children walking around with MRSA who are healthy, but we are also seeing this germ cause infections. What we are trying to understand is why some children go on to develop a serious infection and others don’t."

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital has had adolescents in the intensive care units suffering from pneumonia and others with the organism in the bloodstream. MRSA skin abscesses, the typical problem associated with MRSA, and bone infections have also been seen in both the Emergency Department and outpatient clinics. The skin abscesses often require drainage and antibiotics. "We are yet to understand why some children just have MRSA in their nose, causing no disease, while others are severely ill," he said. Still, Creech says parents should not be alarmed but consult their physician if their child develops skin infections, fever or other signs of illness.

John Howser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>