'Superbug' found in Scottish neonatal unit

Jul 27, 2006

Four premature infants at one of Scotland's leading neonatal units carried a drug-resistant type of bacteria known as MRSA, health officials said.

The infections had spread into the bodies of two of the babies at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, while the other two babies only showed the bacteria on their skin, the Scotsman newspaper reported.

The cases, from April and May, followed two previous "clusters" that had not been identified until Tuesday, the newspaper said.

Dr. Alison McCallum, director of public health for the hospital's parent company, said all the clusters were dealt with by the unit and the problem appeared to be over.

She said the outbreaks prompted a "deep clean" of the unit, which admits around 700 babies a year.

McCallum said all babies are now routinely screened for MRSA on admission, and screened again for it weekly.

MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a strain of bacteria that is resistant to all penicillin. It was discovered in Britain in 1961 and is now widespread, particularly in the hospital setting, where it is commonly referred to as a "superbug."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: 300-400 new cholera cases per day among Burundians in Tanzania: UN

Related Stories

Discovery aids in fight against antifungal drug resistance

Feb 03, 2014

A University of Otago, New Zealand, research breakthrough from the Sir John Walsh Research Institute is helping pave the way for novel antifungal drugs designed to overcome the world-wide problem of growing resistance to ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria blamed in indigenous Mexican baby deaths

2 hours ago

Bacteria—and not a contaminated vaccine as initially suspected—were to blame for the recent deaths of two Mexican babies and for sickening 29 others, according to an official investigation.

German woman, 65, gives birth to quadruplets

2 hours ago

A 65-year-old teacher from Berlin has given birth to quadruplets after a pregnancy that was widely criticized by medical professionals because of her age, RTL television said Saturday.

US appeals court upholds delay in Alzheimer's drug swap

17 hours ago

A federal appeals court has rejected a drug manufacturer's appeal and affirmed a judge's order that Actavis PLC keep distributing its widely used Alzheimer's medication until after its patent expires this summer.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.