Flesh-Eating Bacteria’s Rise Tied to Antibiotic Cream

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Credit: Michael Otto/NIH

Flesh-Eating Bacteria’s Rise Tied to Antibiotic Cream

But thatِ widespread habit, a newِ paper suggests, mayِ beِ contributing toِ theِ rise ofِ one ofِ the mostِ concerningِ strains ofِ drug-resistant bacteria.
Japanese researchers looked atِ 261 samples ofِ methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), including 21 samples ofِ the USA300 strain, a type ofِ MRSA thatِ hasِ gained attention forِ its spread, itsِ frequent presence inِ the community asِ well asِ the hospital, andِ its link toِ necrotizing fasciitis, alsoِ known asِ flesh-eating disease.
People shouldِ understand thatِ triple antibiotic ointment] isِ not almighty, andِ avoid preventive orِ excessive useِ ofِ this ointment, saidِ study author Masahiro Suzuki, a bacteriologist atِ the Aichi Prefectural Institute ofِ Public Health inِ Nagoya, Japan.

How the USA300 strain arose

The origin ofِ the USA300 strain hasِ remained unknown, inِ part because, unlikeِ otherِ MRSA strains, itِ appears toِ haveِ evolved outsideِ ofِ hospitals.
Over theِ pastِ decade orِ so, it’sِ really emerged asِ the leading causeِ of skin andِ soft tissue infections inِ the community, saidِ Dr.
While otherِ antibiotic-resistant bacteria arose inِ hospitals, whereِ antibiotic useِ isِ common, andِ then spread outِ intoِ communities, USA300 wasِ firstِ found inِ community infections, andِ spread fromِ there.

Are antibiotic creams to blame?

While heِ agreed theِ bacteria areِ a threat, Blumberg saidِ heِ was somewhatِ skeptical ofِ the authors’ hypothesis thatِ over-the-counter ointments areِ driving theِ presence ofِ USA300.
They haveِ a theory thatِ use ofِ topical, over-the-counter creams andِ antibiotics select thisِ USA300 clone andِ that’s whyِ it’sِ emerged, Blumberg said.
Blumberg saidِ that heِ is hesitant aboutِ the theory becauseِ from myِ experience, mostِ of theِ patients weِ seeِ haven’tِ used topical antibiotics.

While USA300 is resistant to a number of drugs, it remains treatable — for now.

In point ofِ drug resistance, USA300 isِ not dangerous, Suzuki said, becauseِ most USA300 strains areِ susceptible toِ notِ only theِ antibiotic vancomycin] orِ other anti-MRSA agents butِ alsoِ clindamycin, aminoglycosides orِ sometimes quinolone.
However, I’m afraid thatِ USA300 willِ acquire] resistance toِ otherِ antimicrobial agents inِ the future, becauseِ USA300 nowِ caused notِ only community-associated butِ healthcare-associated infections.
We’re atِ the point whereِ we’reِ starting toِ seeِ organisms thatِ areِ resistant toِ everyِ antibiotic weِ have, andِ we’re notِ goingِ to getِ a lot ofِ newِ ammunition, heِ said.

The study appears in the October issue of the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

This story wasِ providedِ byِ MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site toِ LiveScience.
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