A joint study developed by the University of Melbourne, Australia, detected in many hospitals around the world, the appearance of three strains of Staphylococcus epidermidis that have mutated to be multi-drug resistant.
Researchers observed samples of S. epidermidis, a bacteria found in human skin that is one of the most common causes of hospital infections. The samples were collected from less than a hundred institutions in several countries around the world.
They detected that three genetically distinct strains of this bacteria had mutated to be resistant to rifampicin and vanomycin, two antibiotics used in the treatment to kill this bacteria.
Patients tend to contract S. epidermidis infection when they have a foreign object, like a line to administer drug or a catheter, inserted. This usually happens with intensive care patients who have many lines inserted.
According to the researchers, the superbug is expanding rapidly due to the high use of antibiotics in intensive care units, where patients are sickest and stronger drugs are routinely administered.
The hazards of drug-resistant viruses and bacteria
Antibiotic-resistant microorganisms are expected to be the leading cause of death within three decades.
The WHO (World Health Organization) has warned about antibiotic overuse sparking new strains of killer, drug-resistant bacteria.
Another Australian study has also detected that some superbugs common in hospital environments have become ten times more resistant to alcohol-based disinfectants, found in handwashes and sanitisers used on hospital wards, forcing to rethink the measures taken in hospitals to protect patients from these deadly superbugs.
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