Study: Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA ‘Superbug’ Found In US Homes

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics, and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people’s homes were “major reservoirs” for the bacteria strains. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)CBS Atlanta

Atlanta (CBS ATLANTA) – An anti-biotic resistant “superbug” that has long affected hospitals and other health care locations around the world has now found a new “reservoir” location: inside U.S. homes.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacteria that is resistant to many of the strongest antibiotics, and although recent prevalence has been limited to hospitals and nursing homes, a new study of 161 New York City residents who contracted the MRSA infections finds that the these people’s homes were “major reservoirs” for the bacteria strains, HealthDay reports.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that in communities outside of health care settings, most MRSA strains are skin infections that are spread by physical contact, such as the sharing of towels or razors. Athletes, military barracks, prisons and other close-quarter living areas are at an increased risk of contracting and spreading the bug.

In medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical infections.

But the new study shows that the MRSA has spread into average U.S. homes.

“What our findings show is it’s also endemic in households,” lead researcher Dr. Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, tells HealthDay, from the study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences.

According to a report released by the CDC last September, more than 2 million Americans get drug-resistant infections each year. And about 23,000 die from these diseases that are increasingly resistant to the strongest antibiotics that doctors use to fight the infections.

Uhlemann and fellow researchers took samples from those affected by MRSA strains along with samples of a comparison group of people how had not fallen ill. The researchers then took samples from these patients’ household surfaces and other social contacts to see if the bacteria had spread.

Ultimately, the research showed that many homes outside of just those affected by MRSA were “major reservoirs” for the MRSA strain, USA300, which HealthDay notes is the primary cause of MRSA infections in communities throughout the country.

Bedding, clothes and other everyday surfaces used by someone affected by MRSA are suggested to be cleaned by bleach and hot water, although Uhlemann says the role of surfaces in transmitting the disease is not “well delineated.”

“We can’t just treat the person with the infection,” Uhlemann told HealthDay. “We have to attempt to remove the (MRSA) colonization from the home,” and another MRSA expert not involved in the study added that the new study “confirms what we’ve suspected all along.”

Correct bandaging, protection of wounds, and hand-washing were suggested by experts as the best ways to protect family members and others who one may come in physical contact with regularly, thereby spreading the bacteria to others.

The CDC has estimated that nearly one-in-three people carry staph bacteria in their nose, and typically feel no symptoms of sickness. About 2 percent of people carry MRSA.

The World Health Organization has previously stated that the overuse of antibiotics has become so common that even normal infections may become deadly in the future, due to the evolution of these bacteria strains.

“It is not too late,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said to during a press conference. “If we’re not careful, the medicine chest will be empty when we go there to look for a lifesaving antibiotic for someone with a deadly infection. If we act now, we can preserve these medications while we continue to work on lifesaving medications.”

Dr. Henry Chambers, chair of the antimicrobial resistance committee for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told HealthDay he agreed, and that “about half of antibiotics prescribed aren’t needed.” 

A report earlier this month found that the drug-resistant bacteria caused a fatal blood infection in a Brazilian patient, according to Live Science. His body had developed a resistance to the powerful antibiotic vancomycin – used widely to treat the infection – during the course of his stay at the hospital.

– Benjamin Fearnow

15 thoughts on “Study: Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA ‘Superbug’ Found In US Homes

  1. It’s really good then to know that these bacteria cannot develop resistance to natural and herbal treatments such as garlic and manuka honey.

    1. Hi ya EE how are ya 😉 , I had MRSA and it damned near killed me 12 -13 yr.s ago. Ended me up in intesnive care for a day and in he general host for another 3 days under heavy doses of morophine and their 4 anti-biotic IV drip the whole time. when I got out they still had me on the 4 different antibiotics for another 3 months with intensive follow up care twice a week. MRSA isn`t anything to fool with – just because they are natural doesn`t mean they are not potent. I sometimes still wonder if I have actually recovered to this day even from that damned MRSA. Yea, it is that bad and dangerous for sure.
      I guess that what I am saying is to be carefull with those natural anti-biotics. I still do them once in a while but not like then. There is a lot to learn when it comes to naturopathy.
      My grandmother got me into the herbals and naturopathy back in the 60`s and she always warned me of building a tolerance to anti-biotics even back then.

      1. Hi Digger, doing real well, thanks! 🙂

        I know that MRSA is a very tough thing, and I’m glad you made it through! I do wonder, though, what the antibiotics may have done to you. I have grown real wary of them ever since I was given cipro several years back and that did a real number on me. It took me months to recover from the obvious medicine side effects.

        I think it is up to each person, how they want to treat their illnesses and infections, but even if a person goes conventional, it cannot hurt to have this herbal knowledge in your back pocket. 😉 You are right, there is a lot to learn about them, to use them wisely.

        You are so lucky to have had the benefit of such a wise grandmother. 🙂

        1. Thanks Paul. I still got a old medicinal about the herbal remidies from over a hundred years ago – one of the things I still got from them great grandparents and grandparents. That is the only medicine they used.
          yep, they stillgot their own notes and hand writig in that damned book. It is a really good reference/book. They were considerend Dr.s back over a hundred years ago in the wide spread area 🙂
          They only did herbal medicine!

          1. Did I miss something, digger? LOL You replied to “EE” but said “Thanks Paul.” I’m confused. 🙂 😉

          2. I do not know how that happened. Too many things on my side going on I guess.

            I better get back on my Herb again I guess – however the F I can afford that now days. 😉 Nope I don`t know how that happened . I did mean to respond to EE though – not Paul, I was emailing Paul though and I guess that is how. No excuses on my part though, MY FAULT Angel ;( sorry. I screwed up ;(

          3. hehe. I just thought it was an honor to be mistaken for Paul 😉
            But to tell you the truth I was mostly focused on your amazing herbal book WOW!!!!!! You are SO lucky. What a treasure you have there. 🙂

          4. You are a good guy Paul I think – we are all rubbing off on each other and TPTB are nervous about that 😉 yep believe it Paul 😉 . And Yes EE, yea Like i say 🙂 keep the faith bro. 🙂

  2. To this day I am convinced that the only reason I hardly ever got sick as a kid was because my mother used garlic in everything for cooking, not just Italian food. And now I use it, and especially in salads, plus of course onions.
    When the kids were home they rarely got sick as well. Garlic. Can’t live without it. That and horehound.

  3. Hydrogen peroxide & manuka honey

    There are more but start with these 2 and research their use

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