MRSA at Home

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Story Updated: Apr 23, 2014

The antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection known as MRSA has long posed a serious threat to hospitalized patients and their staff. But now a new study warns that over the last 2 decades an increasingly common strain of MRSA has been making its way right into people's homes. The finding stems from a cutting-edge genetic analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The goal of the analysis was to unearth the origins of a recent MRSA outbreak in New York City.

A study team gathered bacterial samples from 161 local residents. All were infected with MRSA between 2009 and 2011. None of the infections occurred in a hospital. And all involved a particular type of MRSA, known as "USA300"

The investigation concluded that USA300 appears to have effectively colonized residential households. And the result is a heightened risk for MRSA outbreaks right in the confines of the American home. The researchers suggest approaches targeting not only infected patients but also their household members and home environments to curb the spread of MRSA outbreaks.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the news doctors are reading health news that matters to you.

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