Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Strains of antibiotic-resistant 'Staph' bacteria show seasonal preference; Children at higher risk in summer

28.02.2013
Strains of potentially deadly, antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria show seasonal infection preferences, putting children at greater risk in summer and seniors at greater risk in winter, according to results of a new nationwide study led by a Johns Hopkins researcher.

It's unclear why these seasonal and age preferences for infection with methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) occur, says Eili Klein, Ph.D., lead author on the study and a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Modeling in the Social, Behavioral and Health Sciences.

But he says that increased use of antibiotics in the winter may be one of the reasons. The winter strain that infects seniors at a greater rate is generally acquired in the hospital and resistant to more antibiotics. On the other hand, the summer strain of MRSA, which is seen with growing frequency in children, is largely a community-transmitted strain that is resistant to fewer antibiotics.

"Overprescribing antibiotics is not harmless," Klein notes. "Inappropriate use of these drugs to treat influenza and other respiratory infections is driving resistance throughout the community, increasing the probability that children will contract untreatable infections."

In fact, the study found that while MRSA strains exhibit a seasonal pattern, overall MRSA infections have not decreased over the last five years, despite efforts to control their spread.

A report on the study, which used sophisticated statistical models to analyze national data for 2005-2009, appears today in the online issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

As the researchers report, hospitalizations from infections tied to MRSA doubled in the United States between 1999 and 2005. The ballooning infection numbers were propelled by MRSA acquired in community settings, not hospital or other health care settings, as had been the case prior to 1999.

Specifically, the study found that a strain of MRSA typically seen in community settings is more likely to cause infection during the summer months, peaking around July/August. The authors' data analysis showed children were most at risk of becoming infected with this strain, typically from a skin or soft tissue wound or ailment.

In fact, in examining data for one year — 2008 — the research team found that 74 percent of those under the age of 20 who developed an infection with MRSA had a community-associated MRSA infection.

Meanwhile, the health care-associated MRSA strain, which is typically seen in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care settings, was found to be most prevalent in the winter months, peaking in February/March. Patients aged 65 or older are more likely to acquire a MRSA infection from this strain.

"Our analysis ... shows significant seasonality of MRSA infections and the rate at which they affect different age groups," write the authors of the report titled "The changing epidemiology of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in the United States: A national observational study."

Klein said additional research on seasonal patterns of MRSA infections and drug resistance may help with developing new treatment guidelines, prescription practices and infection control programs.

Other authors on the paper include Ramanan Laxminarayan of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, D.C., and David L. Smith of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Read the abstract: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/02/28/aje.kws273.abstract

Media Inquiries:

Mark Guidera
mguider1@jhmi.edu
443-898-2320
Helen Jones
hjones49@jhmi.edu
410-502-4922

Mark Guidera | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Graphene nanoflakes: a new tool for precision medicine
19.08.2019 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF

nachricht A new method of tooth repair? Scientists uncover mechanisms to inform future treatment
09.08.2019 | University of Plymouth

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A miniature stretchable pump for the next generation of soft robots

Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.

Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...

Im Focus: Vehicle Emissions: New sensor technology to improve air quality in cities

Researchers at TU Graz are working together with European partners on new possibilities of measuring vehicle emissions.

Today, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing European cities. As part of the Horizon 2020 research project CARES (City Air Remote Emission...

Im Focus: Self healing robots that "feel pain"

Over the next three years, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Cambridge, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI-Paris) and Empa will be working together with the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix on the next generation of robots: (soft) robots that ‘feel pain’ and heal themselves. The partners can count on 3 million Euro in support from the European Commission.

Soon robots will not only be found in factories and laboratories, but will be assisting us in our immediate environment. They will help us in the household, to...

Im Focus: Scientists create the world's thinnest gold

Scientists at the University of Leeds have created a new form of gold which is just two atoms thick - the thinnest unsupported gold ever created.

The researchers measured the thickness of the gold to be 0.47 nanometres - that is one million times thinner than a human finger nail. The material is regarded...

Im Focus: Study on attosecond timescale casts new light on electron dynamics in transition metals

An international team of scientists involving the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has unraveled the light-induced electron-localization dynamics in transition metals at the attosecond timescale. The team investigated for the first time the many-body electron dynamics in transition metals before thermalization sets in. Their work has now appeared in Nature Physics.

The researchers from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), the MPSD (Germany), the Center for Computational Sciences of University of Tsukuba (Japan) and the Center for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The power of thought – the key to success: CYBATHLON BCI Series 2019

16.08.2019 | Event News

4th Hybrid Materials and Structures 2020 28 - 29 April 2020, Karlsruhe, Germany

14.08.2019 | Event News

What will the digital city of the future look like? City Science Summit on 1st and 2nd October 2019 in Hamburg

12.08.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stanford builds a heat shield just 10 atoms thick to protect electronic devices

19.08.2019 | Information Technology

Researchers demonstrate three-dimensional quantum hall effect for the first time

19.08.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Catalysts for climate protection

19.08.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>