National study updates the status of infectious diseases

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease found that some strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a drug-resistant bacterium, may be able to lure and destroy immune cells.

11/16/2007


The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease found that some strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a drug-resistant bacterium, may be able to lure and destroy immune cells. The study hopes to discover the reason MRSA infections contracted outside of the hospital are spreading easier and harder to fight.


MRSA secretes a compound called phenol-soluble modulin into a person’s immune system. The compound attracts neutrophils immune cells, key elements in the clearing of bacterial infections, and then through a process called lysis, it destroys them.
Commonly found in hospitals, the symptoms of S. aureus usually only cause pimples or boils and MRSA is treatable with a few antibiotics. However, the report indicates that a community-associated MRSA strand, which can cause severe infections that can result in necrotizing fasciitis or death, has been increasingly affecting otherwise healthy adults outside of healthcare settings.

Far more common in the United States than previously thought, MRSA was the cause of 94,000 hospitalizations and almost 19,000 deaths in the 2005.

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