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Drug-resistant bacteria increasingly common in US hospitals

Thursday, August 17, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: MRSA, medical myths, drug-resistant bacteria

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(NewsTarget) A new study appearing in today's New England Journal of Medicine has found that drug-resistant bacteria are now the most common cause of skin and soft-tissue infections treated in a number of hospitals across America.

A team of researchers from UCLA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that at 11 hospitals across the United States, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was the culprit in 59 percent of overall skin infections. At a hospital in Kansas City, Mo., MRSA accounted for 74 percent of skin infections, while at a New York hospital it accounted for 15 percent.

The researchers also found that 99 percent of the patients treated for skin infections had been infected with "community associated" MRSA, which is acquired outside the hospital. Of those cases, 97 percent were a strain called USA300 -- identified in 2000, when drug-resistant germs in hospitals were a rarity -- and is now predominant in many U.S. cities.

The CDC's Rachel Gorwitz, the study's co-author, says doctors nationwide need to consider drug resistance when diagnosing and treating skin infections. Gorwitz also encourages doctors "to obtain cultures from skin infections, which hasn't been standard practice." Growing bacteria cultures enables doctors to properly identify bacteria strains.

The study found that all the MRSA samples tested were susceptible to the antibiotics rifampin and clindamycin, but 57 percent of the infected patients were treated with drugs to which the bacteria were resistant.

"This is all the result of two things," says Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate. "First, there's the mass over-prescribing of antibiotics, directly encouraging the success of resistant bacteria strains. Secondly, there's the stubbornness of conventional medicine to embrace the use of colloidal silver as a natural, broad-spectrum antibiotics that kills even resistant strains."

"Silver is arrogantly ignored by conventional medicine," says Adams, "because it cannot be patented. So doctors, hospitals and drug companies keep pushing patented chemicals to treat infections when a safe, natural silver solution would do the job."

MRSA infections are often mistaken for spider bites, and can cause skin infections -- including painful sores and lesions -- and pneumonia in otherwise healthy people.


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