Sunday, October 03, 2010

Of Superbugs and MRSA

I received a number of emails in response to my review of Maryn McKenna's Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA.

One of the most interesting and informative was from a microbiologist with direct experience working with Staph aureus and MRSA. I was grateful for the email and asked the individual if I could reproduce the comments here.

The microbiologist has kindly given me permission to reproduce those comments, but has asked that it be anonymous. I hope you find the information as revealing and helpful as I did.


"I am a microbiologist. I wanted to assure you that Staph aureus and MRSA are the major pathogens that we isolate from wound cultures. Staph aureus is not always MRSA, but MRSA is seen in many of our wound cultures. We see several per day.

It seems that the diagnosis I have noticed on some of the cultures with Staph aureus is “spider bite”. Apparently this must be what it looks like when the infection is starting. We do those screening cultures where patients are cultured with swabs to the inside of the nostrils. Thankfully we don’t see many that are positive for MRSA.

If you are interested in this sort of thing, read online about ESBL and KPC or CRE. These are on the rise, also. I have heard that the drug companies are not that interested in working on new antibiotics. I don’t know if that is true or not. I am sure that developing new antibiotics is extremely time consuming and super-expensive. The bacteria will eventually become resistant to those too, but at least they  would work for a while. I have been doing this for 30 years. It is really scary seeing the resistance that has been developing during those 30 years.

If everyone would wash their hands diligently, things would be safer. Bacteria and viruses love to ride on our hands. Then we deposit them on money, door knows, hand rails, steering wheels, cell phones, keyboards, etc. A great defense for this is to clean things with a 10% Clorox dilution. That takes care of pretty much everything. If you cannot use the Clorox, use rubbing alcohol.

Here is a great site for information."

CDC - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)

1 comment:

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