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 The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet
22.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Party discipline for jumping genes
22.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>