Two clones of highly antibiotic-resistant organism strains, which previously had only been identified in the United States, are now causing serious sickness and death in several Colombian cities including the capital Bogotá, say researchers at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. The study, done in collaboration with Universidad El Bosque in Bogotá, is presented in a research letter published in the Nov. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
U.S. clones of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VREF) have emerged in communities across Colombia. The variation of the MRSA clone, referred to as the USA 300, has been previously reported to be the most important cause of severe skin and soft tissue infections in the United States. The VREF clone is genetically related to a strain that hit a Houston hospital in 1994.
In Colombia before 2005, there were no recorded cases of any community-associated MRSA infections, including USA 300 MRSA. In 2005, there were two: one in Bogotá and one in the city of Villavicencio. Now the number of MRSA infections is climbing across the country. The paper reports a total of 15 infections, some of which were documented in two additional cities between 2006 and 2007, said Cesar A. Arias, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of infectious diseases at the UT Medical School at Houston.
The first case of VREF was reported in Bogotá in 2001. Since then, 50 additional cases have been identified at seven hospitals.
"We are tracking and recording these cases to find the link between the U.S. and Colombia. The goal is to find out why and how these organisms got there. With this information, researchers hope to better understand the molecular epidemiology of these super bugs to understand how they spread and how to control them," Arias said. "The UT Medical School will continue to work with Latin American academic institutions to learn more about these antibiotic-resistant organisms."
All patients diagnosed with community-associated MRSA infections suffered severe skin and soft-tissue infections. Some patients also experienced death of tissue surrounding bones, bacteria in the bloodstream and meningitis, and 20 percent of the patients died. The MRSA infections were treatable with common antistaphylococcal antibiotics, although 40 percent were resistant to tetracycline.
Arias added that the USA 300 clone of MRSA has not only been found in Colombia. In a recent presentation at the annual meeting of the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and Infectious Disease Society of America in Washington, D.C., Arias shared the news that this clone has been recorded in multiple patients in Ecuador and Venezuela.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Is That A Real Patient Or A Junkie? Now There's An App For That
- You Are Ready To Eat Insects If You Have These Characteristics
- How The Higgs Became The Target Of Run 2 At The Tevatron
- How Neuroscience Is Being Used To Spread Quackery In Business And Education
- Global 'Roadmap' Shows Where To Put Roads Without Costing The Earth
- MOOCs: Learning About Online Learning, One Click At A Time
- Will We Meet ET Microbes On Mars? Why We Should Care Deeply About Them - Like Tigers
- "You guessed alright, that is a page from the book...Cheers,T...."
- "Dear Anon,in 1994 neutrinos were not the main focus of the lab...Cheers,T...."
- "I did not ignore your 4x4 matrices comment, as I explained in the very message you were replying..."
- "I do not know which P5 meeting you attended, but in the mind of the current fnal director, fnal..."
- "Cool. I really look forward for your book! I still remember the excitement of my times at fnal... K...."
- Geochronology and global context of the Charnian Supergroup
- Confirmation of a low pre-extensional geothermal gradient in the Grayback normal
- Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection
- Invisible blood in urine may indicate bladder cancer
- Sugar substance 'kills' good HDL cholesterol, new research finds