MRSA Strain Linked to High Death Rates

  1. MRSA Strain Linked to High Death Rates

    Henry Ford Hospital Study: A MRSA Strain Linked to High Death Rates

    DETROIT - A strain of MRSA that causes bloodstream infections is five times more lethal than other strains and has shown to have some resistance to the potent antibiotic drug vancomycin used to treat MRSA, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

    The study found that 50 percent of the patients infected with the strain died within 30 days compared to 11 percent of patients infected with other MRSA strains.

    The average 30-day mortality rate for MRSA bloodstream infections ranges from 10 percent to 30 percent.

    Researchers say the strain USA600 contains unique characteristics that may be linked to the high mortality rate. But they say it is unclear whether other factors like the patients' older age, diseases or the spread of infection contributed to the poor outcomes collectively or with other factors. The average age of patients with the USA600 strain was 64; the average age of patients with other MRSA strains was 52.

    The study is being presented at the 47th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America Oct. 29-Nov.1 in Philadelphia.

    "While many MRSA strains are associated with poor outcomes, the USA600 strain has shown to be more lethal and cause high mortality rates," says Carol Moore, PharmD., a research investigator in Henry Ford's Division of Infectious Diseases and lead author of the study.

    "In light of the potential for the spread of this virulent and resistant strain and its associated mortality, it is essential that more effort be directed to better understanding this strain to develop measures for managing it."

    MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacterium that is resistant to common antibiotics like penicillin. It can cause skin, bloodstream and surgical wound infections and pneumonia. The majority of infections occur among patients in hospitals or other health care settings, though a growing number of infections are being acquired by otherwise healthy people outside those settings.

    MRSA strains can be resistant to many drugs, though they are typically susceptible to the antibiotic vancomycin. MRSA infections are often treated with vancomycin administered intravenously. The USA600 strain in this study was shown to be more resistant to vancomycin.

    The study was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.
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    About Brian, ADN

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  3. by   Pfiesty
    I am ignorant about the difference here: If it is resistant to Vanco, how is it different from VRSA?

    Who can enlighten me?
  4. by   pennyaline
    Quote from Pfiesty
    I am ignorant about the difference here: If it is resistant to Vanco, how is it different from VRSA?

    Who can enlighten me?
    The difference is that the public already knows about and is frightened of MRSA, and if you want to keep the public scared and sheepish you have to use language it understands.

    The article does a disservice to health care and the public it serves. If only the public was savvy enough to see through this kind of thing... but it's not.
  5. by   fridayannelpn1974
    I have had MRSA for years and continue to have a chronic wound in an old surgical site in my abdomen. Unfortunatly I am allergic to Vancomycin. I have trouble with a lot of ABX since the original surgery was on my stomach. I can take them for awhile and then I start throwing up every dose. I am still a functioning nurse and wear a dressing to cover my draining wound. No patient has come down with MRSA R/T my taking care of them. I do not have to do major dressing changes on my shift. I work midnights. I got MRSA years ago in 1980.When I first became a nurse, only the doctors got gloves. I also got hepatitis B - before there was a vaccination for it. A lot of us did. I got it in 1976. Fortunatly, I am not a carrier. The only good side of all of this is that when I get admitted to a hospital for anything, I get a private room. I have had this for so many years that I am not worried about dying from the strain that I have. I just worry about patients that are admitted with the new strains and the nursing homes act like it is just another infection. The nurses have become so complacent to these infections that they treat all of them the same. (in LTC) Don't get me started about C-Diff. That's a whole nother ball of wax. To sum things up, I have tried to get my PCP to do a current culture or send me to an infection specialist, but she want's me to go to a surgeon instead. No surgeon wants to tackle an infected wound. Unfortunatly I am currently hooked up with a University system.I have seen 6, either residents or MD's in the last year. I am looking for a doctor who isn't afraid of my condition! (I promise not to sue you!) Respectfully submitted.
  6. by   Pfiesty
    So many healthcare workers are colonized with MRSA, and so few know it. Recently, I was screened (My choice and privately) just out of curiosity (because I am considering a touch of plastic surgery!) and I was shocked when I was negative. Then again, I am still ppd negative and that is surprising also.
  7. by   TampaTech
    Wow! Fridayannlpn. Sounds like you have alot on your plate to deal with all the time. I dont know if I was you i would be scared to get something even worse infected in the wound. I am also surprised that the other person that posted on here didnt have any sort of MRSA colonization on them. I would bet 100 dollars that most people I come in contact with on the street have MRSA. But also what is VRSA is that the same thing as VRE?
  8. by   fridayannelpn1974
    To Tampa Tech, I don't know what VRSA is, but it looks like it is problably just a different name for VRE. You are right about a lot on my plate. Even one of my doctors told me "You're in pretty good shape, for the shape you're in". WOW was he right. I can still work, garden, sew, etc. but I have to take medication to do so. This all started with a surgeon who slipped (during a stomach stapeling) in the 80's and ruptured my spleen. They took out my spleen and then I developed peritonitis.Without a spleen I am prone to many infections. I ended up in the hospital for 4 months with a total of 4 surgeries and 5 days on a vent for a paralysed diaphragm due to the infection. They had to creat new pyloric and cardiac sphincters and reroute to the stapeled off part of my stomach. G-tube for 6 months. I have to admit, the experience made me a much more compassionate nurse. My internal medicine doctor during all of this, told me that I was a perfect example of "Murphy's Law". If anything can go wrong - IT DID! Anyway I am still here and enjoying life as best I can. I also do the best I can for all my patients, because I know personally what they have gone thru. Some nurses are so "professional" that they can't see the forest for the trees. But, they certainly impress the administration. gag! Thanks, for careing,
    Last edit by fridayannelpn1974 on Nov 7, '09 : Reason: Wanted to add one more thought.
  9. by   will robinson
    I believe VRSA is vancomycin resistant staph aureus where VRE is vancomycin resistant e-coli.
  10. by   Brian
    Here are some links and info from Wikipedia, hope that helps:

    Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus - Wikipedia

    Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has become resistant to the glycopeptide antibiotic vancomycin. With the increase of staphylococcal resistance to methicillin, vancomycin (or another antibiotic teicoplanin) is often a treatment of choice in infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

    Vancomycin resistance is still[update] a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, VRSA may also be resistant to meropenem and imipenem, two other antibiotics that can be used in sensitive staphylococcus strains.

    VRE: Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus - Wikipedia

    Vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) is the name given to a group of bacterial species of the genus Enterococcus that is resistant to the antibiotic vancomycin.[1] Enterococci are enteric and can be found in the digestive and urinary tracts of some humans. VRE was discovered in 1985[2] and is particularly dangerous to immunocompromised individuals. VRE species have an enhanced ability to pass resistant genes to other bacteria. While infection of healthy individuals is uncommon, it is possible that they could be colonized with newly-resistant bacteria.

    There are six different types of vancomycin resistance shown by enterococcus : Van-A, Van-B, Van-C, Van-D, Van-E and Van-F. Of these, only Van-A, Van-B and Van-C have been seen in general clinical practice so far. The significance is that Van-A VRE is resistant to both vancomycin and teicoplanin, Van-B VRE is resistant to vancomycin but sensitive to teicoplanin, and Van-C is only partly resistant to vancomycin, and sensitive to teicoplanin. In the US, linezolid is commonly used to treat VRE, as teicoplanin is not available.

    VRE can be carried by healthy people who have come into contact with the bacteria. The most likely place where such contact can occur is in a hospital (nosocomial infections), although it is thought that a significant percentage of intensively-farmed chicken also carries VRE.[3],[4]

    In 2005, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), a strain of L. rhamnosus, was used successfully for the first time to treat gastrointestinal carriage of VRE in renal patients.[5]