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Large hospitals breed MRSA

15th May 2012

Researchers at Edinburgh University have said they think hospitals located in big cities could be responsible for breeding and spreading MRSA through patient transferrals.

MRSA1

The research team tracked the movements of the superbug by examining the genetic composition of a clone of MRSA which was collected from hospital patients over the course of 53 years.

They said the clone, which is called EMRSA-16, had probably been present on hospital wards in the UK for 35 years.

The team were able to identify specific strains and mutation of EMRSA-16 which had enabled it to spread in hospitals.

They said that the bug was able to spread from large hospitals in London to smaller hospitals in the south and south-east.

Lead researcher Dr Ross Fitzgerald, of The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: "These hospitals in large cities seem to be acting like a hub. The high levels of patient traffic in large hospitals means they act as a hub for transmission between patients, who may then be transferred or treated in regional hospitals.

"This is the first time we have had genetic evidence for it. And if we can identify the transmission routes we can take steps to prevent spread." 

 

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