Bacteria are everywhere. This may creep out the Purell enthusiasts among you, but there’s just no other way to put it. Bacteria live in your food, they crawl over subway poles, Starbucks tables, and, unless you Cloroxed it in the last two minutes, your kitchen counter. They even live inside you.
There are good and bad kinds of bacteria. Good bacteria are the kinds that live in your non-fat Greek yogurt. Bad bacteria are the kind that makes you sick.
Staphylococcus aureus is a staph bacterium commonly found in the nose. In certain cases, certain strains become resistant to antibiotics, resulting in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This is like the Darth Vader of infections. You do not want to get it, especially if you’re a patient about to get surgery. In fact, MRSA is commonly found in hospitals, a study found that 1 in 3 nurse bags carry this deadly superbug. Read More
Despite knowing the gory, textbook details about c. difficile— its resistance to most antibiotics… its potentially deadly consequences— the first time I met someone who was severely affected by it, I was a little shocked. Waiting for the bus, one day, I noticed a man in a very bad mood. Making a visible effort to control his pain, he seemed to be suffering from one of the usual ailments that affect the elderly— such as arthritis or heart disease. After striking up a brief conversation, though, he told me about his experience with c. difficile and how a single course of antibiotics changed his life forever. His story began in the early 2000s, when he developed a c. difficile superbug infection after being treated for pneumonia. Pointing to the colostomy bag on his hip, he told me how he needed to have the majority of his large intestine removed to survive. Despite all this, his biggest concern was trying to prevent the same thing from happening to others. With over 14 000 c. difficile-related deaths in the US last year, it’s likely a sentiment that many people share. Fortunately newer technologies may be able to help to shine the light on antibiotic resistant c. difficile.