Thursday, September 14, 2006

Evolution: Superbugs

Superbugs a growing threat to hospital patients News Staff Updated: Wed. Sep. 13 2006 11:32 PM ET

Superbugs are a growing threat in Canadian hospitals, and better medication and infection controls are needed, a new study suggests.

The number of one powerful bacteria strain's resistance to antibiotics has jumped dramatically: From five-to-15 per cent to 20-to-50 per cent. That's a significant increase from previous estimates, according to the report by the Canadian National Intensive Care Unit.

Researchers examined 4,180 specimens from patients in 19 intensive care units across Canada. The resistance figures pertain to the most common virulent strain of bacteria, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is a major cause of hospital-acquired wound and skin infections. Scientists also found an increase in the resistance of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and E. coli, with levels at 6.8 per cent and 4.7 per cent, respectively.
"The stark reality in this country today is the MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria are posing a serious threat to our ICUs," primary investigator Dr. George Zhanel, a professor at the University of Manitoba, said in a news release. "People infected with these superbugs are more likely to have longer hospital stays and require multiple drug treatments to fight them off.
And even then, it's often too little, too late.” About 8,500 Canadians die each year from complications arising from infections acquired in hospitals, according to the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association. Zhanel says stronger infection control measures are needed to limit the impact of the superbugs. Strict compliance from patients for less complicated infections is also vital, he said.

Another disturbing trend found by researchers is the increase of MRSA acquired in the community, not in the hospital setting. The strains were found among athletes, soldiers and intravenous drug users, the study showed. At least seven cases of the community-acquired strains, usually found in drug users and First Nations communities, are currently being treated across the country, the report said. "In Canada, sporadic cases (of the strains) have started to appear over the last decade," said Dr. Tony Mazzulli, a University of Toronto professor and medical microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist. "They tend to involve different strains and different antibiotic resistance profiles than hospital-acquired infections."

© Copyright 2006 CTV Inc.


Barb said...

Hi Paul --I've written on your topic here quite a bit --that is evolution vs. creationism and intelligent design.

Are you a member of the Baptist church on your blog?

I found your views of evolution interesting.

Check out my blog. just click on my name for profile, etc.

Paul said...

Hi Barb. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, we're 20 year members of Mountview Baptist Church.

I also have another blog which focuses on public school issues, which I notice is another common interest. It seems to me that a full-blown voucher program is the best way to clean up this mess, but such a mess has been made of charter schools in Ohio it will be difficult for a voucher system to get much support. Nonetheless, more and more of us have come to believe that the real problem with the public school system in Ohio isn't funding, it's the public school model itself.

I look forward to reading more of your stuff, and have added you to my reader.