Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for MRSA

Tweet? (and not the internet kind). At the recent ASM meeting, I saw a poster presented by Mark Schroeder of Ohio Wesleyan University about the prevalence of methicillin-resistant staphylococci in wild song birds (the staphylococci include several potential pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermis).

The Ethicurean has a superb interview with author Maryn McKenna about MRSA and agriculture. In the interview, the following question about MRSA transmission was asked:

Always listen to the Mad Biologist. By way of Joe Windish at The Moderate Voice, we find out, just as I predicted, that the pork lobby would claim we don’t know enough about the MRSA ST398 problem: Livestock scientists call the opinion piece “highly speculative”, and point to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

I’m always loath to criticize mainstream discussions of the antibiotic resistance, particularly when the link between antibiotic use in agriculture and antibiotic resistance is raised. But, while NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof meant well, he missed the mark.

Piggy MRSA Makes the NY Times

Nicholas Kristof has an interesting op-ed in the NY Times about the relationship between pig farming and MRSA. I’ll be curious to see what he writes about in his next column, since he says, “This is a system that may help breed virulent “superbugs” that pose a public health threat to us all. That’ll be…

MRSA ST398: It’s All Tara’s Fault…

I’m kidding, but ScienceBlogling Tara Smith has co-authored a PLoS One article about the emergence of the MRSA strain ST398 in Iowan pork farms. Pig farms are a tremendous reservoir of bacteria: as far as I can tell, there are about six pigs for every person in Iowa.

MRSA ST398: Now It’s in Chickens

The emerging MRSA strain ST398 has found a new home–chickens.

One of the key biological questions about antibiotic resistance is to what extent is the spread of resistance due to the evolution of new resistant strains versus the spread of existing resistant strains. With MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, it’s been thought that epidemic spread of a few resistant genotypes (strains) is responsible for much…

Why VRE Is a Problem

ScienceBlogling Revere links to a news article about high levels of VRE, vancomycin resistant enterococci in beach sand. While Revere and the article both describe how this indicates that VRE are established in the community, I think a far more chilling problem isn’t mentioned at all: VMRSA.

How one views a recent article on the mortality due to antibiotic resistant infections depends on whether you’re a glass half-full or half-empty type (me, I just worry about dropping the damn glass). A recent article in Clinical Infectious Diseases notes that there has been no change in the death rate due to antibiotic resistant…