MRSA strain linked to high death rates

Nov 01, 2009

A strain of MRSA that causes bloodstream infections is five times more lethal than other strains and has shown to have some resistance to the potent antibiotic drug vancomycin used to treat MRSA, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

The study found that 50 percent of the patients infected with the strain died within 30 days compared to 11 percent of patients infected with other MRSA .

The average 30-day mortality rate for MRSA bloodstream infections ranges from 10 percent to 30 percent.

Researchers say the strain USA600 contains unique characteristics that may be linked to the high mortality rate. But they say it is unclear whether other factors like the patients' older age, diseases or the spread of infection contributed to the poor outcomes collectively or with other factors. The average age of patients with the USA600 strain was 64; the average age of patients with other MRSA strains was 52.

The study is being presented at the 47th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Oct. 29-Nov.1 in Philadelphia.

"While many MRSA strains are associated with poor outcomes, the USA600 strain has shown to be more lethal and cause high mortality rates," says Carol Moore, PharmD., a research investigator in Henry Ford's Division of Infectious Diseases and lead author of the study.

"In light of the potential for the spread of this virulent and resistant strain and its associated mortality, it is essential that more effort be directed to better understanding this strain to develop measures for managing it."

MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacterium that is resistant to common antibiotics like penicillin. It can cause skin, bloodstream and surgical wound infections and pneumonia. The majority of infections occur among patients in hospitals or other health care settings, though a growing number of infections are being acquired by otherwise healthy people outside those settings.

MRSA strains can be resistant to many drugs, though they are typically susceptible to the antibiotic . infections are often treated with vancomycin administered intravenously. The USA600 strain in this study was shown to be more resistant to vancomycin.

Source: Henry Ford Health System (news : web)

Explore further: UN Ebola victim leaves France after recovery

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Researchers find link to severe Staph infections

Dec 23, 2008

Researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health recently described studies that support the link between the severity of community-acquired antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA MRSA) infections and th ...

US 'super bugs' invading South America

Nov 12, 2008

Two clones of highly antibiotic-resistant organism strains, which previously had only been identified in the United States, are now causing serious sickness and death in several Colombian cities including the capital Bogotá, ...

Blue light destroys antibiotic-resistant staph infection

Jan 29, 2009

Two common strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, were virtually eradicated in the laboratory by exposing them to a wavelength of blue light, in a process called photo-irradiation that i ...

Staph infections carry long-term risks

Jul 03, 2008

Patients who harbor the highly contagious bacterium causing staph infections can develop serious and sometimes deadly symptoms a year or longer after initial detection, a UC Irvine infectious disease researcher has found.

Being an MRSA carrier increases risk of infection and death

Jul 02, 2008

Patients harboring methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) for long periods of time continue to be at increased risk of MRSA infection and death, according to a new study in the July 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Di ...

Recommended for you

US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

4 hours ago

The next Ebola or the next SARS. Maybe even the next HIV. Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, U.S. public health officials are girding for the next health disaster.

Can robots help stop the Ebola outbreak?

13 hours ago

The US military has enlisted a new germ-killing weapon in the fight against Ebola—a four-wheeled robot that can disinfect a room in minutes with pulses of ultraviolet light.

New bird flu case in Germany

13 hours ago

A worrying new strain of bird flu has been observed for the first time in a wild bird in northern Germany, the agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Mali announces new Ebola case

Nov 22, 2014

Mali announced Saturday a new case of Ebola in a man who is fighting for his life in an intensive care unit in the capital Bamako.

Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar: WHO

Nov 22, 2014

An outbreak of plague has killed 40 people in Madagascar, the World Health Organization said, warning that the disease could spread rapidly in the country's densely populated capital Antananarivo.

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.