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Study indicates dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant community-acquired staph infections

. Blumberg says, "skin and soft tissue infections occurring in the community were generally MSSA, and that is how antibiotic therapy was targeted." Currently, many doctors may assume that community-acquired staph infections will not be resistant to antibiotics similar to methicillin and patients may be prescribed ineffective antibiotics.

Implications of the study include that healthcare professionals who diagnose skin or soft tissue infections should prescribe drugs that are active against MRSA. As Dr. Blumberg says, "selection of empiric antibiotics should focus on covering MRSA," and doctors should work toward confirming the diagnosis by obtaining appropriate material for culture in order to achieve a definitive diagnosis and ensure appropriate treatment is given. At Grady Memorial Hospital, where the study took place, Dr. Blumberg reports that his team has already started following up on the findings: "We have worked hard on educating physicians, including those in training, about the need to consider community-acquired MRSA infections," he says. "There have been changes in recommendations for empiric therapy for skin and soft tissue infections."

Dr. Blumberg and his fellow researchers are now conducting follow-up studies at Grady Memorial Hospital and in the community, and hope other scientists might implement clinical trials to definitively determine which antibiotic agents work best for the treatment of community acquired MRSA infections. In the meantime, the CDC's fact sheet on MRSA suggests that preventing MRSA may be as simple as employing the tried and true cure of soap and water: "Practice good hygiene," is its primary advice.


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Source:Emory University Health Sciences Center


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