Drug-resistant superbug spreading

5/9/2018 188 Science Affairs | Health | View Recent Current Affairs

  • A superbug resistant to all known antibiotics that can cause "severe" infections or even death is spreading undetected through hospital wards across the world.
  • Researchers has discovered three variants of the multidrug-resistant bug in samples from 10 countries, including strains in Europe that cannot be reliably tamed by any drug currently on the market.
  • The bacteria, known as Staphylococcus epidermidis, is related to the better-known and more deadly MRSA.

About Staphylococcus epidermidis:

  • It's found naturally on human skin and most commonly infects the elderly or patients who have had prosthetic materials implanted, such as catheters and joint replacements.
  • It can be deadly, but it's usually in patients who already are very sick in hospital... it can be quite hard to eradicate and the infections can be severe.
  • Like any living organism, bacteria have a strong evolutionary drive to survive. So, over time, a select few will mutate in particular ways that make them resistant to antibiotics. Then, when antibiotics are introduced, only the bacteria that can resist that treatment can survive to multiply further, proliferating the line of drug-resistant bugs.

Analysis:

  • Superbugs are becoming more powerful and widespread than ever. Medical experts are afraid that we’re one step away from deadly, untreatable infections, since the mcr-1 E.coli is resistant to that last-resort antibiotic Colistin. Antibiotic-resistance is passed relatively easily from one bacteria to the next, since it is transmitted by way of loose genetic material that most bacteria have in common.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is afraid of a post-antibiotic world, where loads of bacteria are superbugs. Already, infections like tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and pneumonia are becoming harder to treat with typical antibiotics.

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Radhika Kaushal One common superbug increasingly seen outside hospitals is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These bacteria don't respond to methicillin and related antibiotics. MRSA can cause skin infections and, in more serious cases, pneumonia or bloodstream infections

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