The community-acquired bacteria has evolved further, and is able to maintain a higher level of toxicity while also resisting treatment from antibiotics, making it a much larger problem- Journal of Infectious Diseases
The highly infectious strain, MRSA USA300 , is resistant to many front-line antibiotics and has now been discovered in public places, such as buses and trains. Though people can avoid direct contact with a sneeze or cough, Professor Thomas from the University of Birmingham highlights the possibility of becoming infected from touching surfaces. In this way, every day settings and public surfaces act as viable means to contract an infection. According to the Daily Mail, MRSA USA300 has been called “flesh-eating” due to its ability to lead to large skin boils, abscesses, blood poisoning and even fatal forms of pneumonia that destroy lung tissue.
The Daily Mail reports Dr. Ruth Massey of the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath warns people to take care in guarding against MRSA, especially strains that carry genes for Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL). This cytotoxin can destroy white blood cells and cause extensive tissue necrosis. According to Massey, more than a thousand PVL positive-community-acquired cases were reported in England last year. Of these, 1 in 5 were caused by the USA300 strain.
MRSA USA300 has the ability to break down tissues, and can enter the bloodstream through open wounds and wreak havoc on various parts of the body. These circumstances could potentially be fatal. Dr. Ruth Massey and her colleagues have conducted research that highlight the difference found in the cell wall between hospital MRSA strains and community-acquired strains. Adaptation of the former enables them to suit their environment by switching on toxin production when necessary. This element has been shown to be a fundamental factor contributing to the rumored greater toxicity of community-acquired MRSA strains.
Massey and her colleagues expand on their research by explaining the main ways MRSA bacteria is able to cause disease results from its ability to secrete toxins. By using a sensing system, community-acquired strains picked up on buses and trains are able to control when to switch on this function so as not to cause disease until it is concretely fixed within the human. In order to resist the effects of antibiotics, the MRSA USA300 begins to makes changes to its cell wall, rendering many antibiotic treatments ineffective.
In England, MRSA USA300 is responsible for sporadic cases most often involving physical ailments of skin boils and abscesses, but has not yet emerged as a major public health matter within the country. Many medical institutions in the UK have been effective in controlling the spread of MRSA in hospitals more recent years. This is especially the case after implementing universal MRSA screening in a patients nose. However, there is growing concern on the prevalence of community-acquired MRSA strains as they can be picked up on buses and trains. This brings to attention the dangers of the public abusing antibiotics, and how every effort to pursue optimal health should be practiced by the public when it is within their control.