Log In
Sunday 18th March 2018

New MRSA threat

21st May 2009

Fears are growing that a new strain of MRSA seems to be triggering a deadly form of pneumonia in people who catch flu.


The potential of the threat from the new strain of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium, which is becoming more widespread, is outlined in a study in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Known as community acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA), it poses a significant risk outside hospitals.

While cases of pneumonia caused by CA-MRSA in the UK are very rare, researchers from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta say death rates following infection may be higher than 50%.

Experts warn that swine flu may intensify the problem because CA-MRSA appears to strike people who are already ill with flu.

The researchers said: "Community-acquired MRSA infections are no longer restricted to certain risk groups or to the geographic areas where outbreaks first occurred.

"They now occur widely both in the community as well as health care facilities and have been reported on every continent."

MRSA expert Professor Mark Enright from Imperial College London said that CA-MRSA pneumonia was particularly dangerous “due to the rapid, aggressive nature of the infection.”

"The emergence of pandemic influenza and increased prevalence of CA-MRSA in many countries may cause increased morbidity and mortality in infected individuals," he added.

Professor Richard James of the University of Nottingham said the threat from CA-MRSA in the USA was a very serious concern.

However, the Health Protection Agency stressed that while several other countries had encountered problems, it said these infections remain uncommon in the UK.


Share this page


There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!

Post your comment

Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.

Your email address:

Your comment will be checked by a Healthcare Today moderator before it is published on the site.

Mayden - Innovative cloud-based applications for healthcare
© Mayden Foundation 2018