Flesh-eating Bacteria And Antibiotic Cream Linked In New Study
Flesh-eating bacteria and antibiotic cream may be connected, since researchers have discovered that the cream may be a contributing factor in the increase of a particularly concerning strain of bacteria.
Data was analyzed from 261 samples of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), focusing on two samples of the USA300 strain – the concerning type of MRSA that spreads frequently in hospitals. This strain is linked to necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease.
Results showed that the USA300 strains were resistant to both the antibiotics bacitracin and neomycin, which are usually found in over-the-counter creams, meaning that overexposure to the creams could be what led to USA300’s resistance.
MSNBC quotes lead author Masahiro Suzuki as saying, "People should understand that triple antibiotic [ointment] is not almighty, and avoid preventive or excessive use of this ointment."
In the last decade, the USA300 strain has been the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections, and it probably emerged from hospitals. Those who are particularly susceptible to the strain are children, gay men, prison inmates, military recruits, tattoo recipients and athletes, the study researchers reported.
In order to prevent the infections, Suzuki recommends keeping cuts and scrapes covered, avoiding contact with another person’s infected skin, avoid sharing personal items, and washing hands frequently.
The research was published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.