More Drug-Resistant Staph Infections Arise in Community Settings
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is increasingly being spread in community settings and causing more serious illnesses than in the past, physicians said on Monday at an infectious diseases conference in Washington, D.C., the AP/Arizona Daily Star reports.
Rachel Gorwitz of CDC said, "Until recently we rarely thought of it as a problem among healthy people in the community."
However, Keith Klugman, an infectious disease expert at Emory University, said MRSA is "becoming more resistant and [is] coming into hospitals" where it can exchange gene components with other bacteria and become more dangerous. "It's really a major epidemic," he said.
Over the past few years, CDC tested samples of the most common community MRSA strain, USA3000, at hospitals in nine cities and states. While MRSA usually is resistant only to penicillin-type drugs, CDC found that 10% of the 824 samples also were resistant to clindamycin, tetracycline, Bactrim or other antibiotics.
According to Robert Daum, a pediatrician at the University of Chicago, in some cases, physicians are having to use antibiotics that are "so old that they've lost their patent" to treat MRSA.
Gorwitz said, "The drugs that doctors have typically used to treat staph infections are not effective against MRSA," and family physicians are increasingly seeing a problem that once was seen only by hospital infection specialists (AP/Arizona Daily Star, 10/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.