After the frightening New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1 or the “superbug” was detected two years ago, the world is now faced with the community-acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (ca-MRSA) bacterium that is resistant to almost all common antibiotics. Estimated 100 to 200 million people are carriers of these virtually unbeatable killer bacteria. The killer bugs have also reached England, presumably via medical tourists who travelled to India for cosmetic surgery, and reportedly already infected several hundred people. A few cases have also turned up in Germany.
The bacterium has become a serious health threat in the United States. India had protested the naming of the superbug after New Delhi and denied its presence then. Now, the ca-MRSA is all set to raise another storm.
The only antibiotic left i.e. a drug that is no longer used due to its disastrous side effects is still effective against these killer bacteria. In various cases, people who become infected with these types of pathogens die of urinary tract infections, wound infections or pneumonia. In contrast to this a highly drug tolerant hospital adopted MRSA (ha-MRSA) strains, which mainly affect the elderly people in hospitals and nursing homes, ca-MRSA affects healthy young people.
An article written by Veronika Hackenbroch, Philip Bethge, Laura Hoflinger, Michael Leockx and Udo Ludwig for a German news magazine Der Spiegel says that the two bacteria, ha-MRSA and ca-MRSA, are the only two strains from all arsenal of pathogens that are now immune to almost all the available antibiotics. Penicillin, one of the most herculean weapon ever produced by modern medicine, threatens to become ineffective.
Concern of ‘epidemic’
- As per the British medical journal ‘The Lancet’ , the drug-resistant bacteria could trigger a “pandemic.” In Germany, the dangerous pathogens are no longer only feared instead they have become ubiquitous.
- The pathogens thrive in warm, moist environments. They can be found in people’s genital area, armpits and in the nasal mucous membranes.
- The bacteria are inherited via skin, clothing, via towels or a direct body contact. It takes them a small abrasion to move to a victim’s bloodstream. Suppurating pustules develop at the infection site and at this point the pathogens are also capable of corroding the lungs which in turn can cause death quickly.
- The life-threatening bacteria have even been discovered on one of Germany’s high-speed ICE trains. Likewise, more than 10 per cent of the residents of German retirement homes have been reported to be empowered by MRSA bacteria. In such a case every open wound is quite deadly. The pathogens have also been found in beef, pork and vegetables.
- Another appalling finding is that about 3 to 5 per cent of the population carries the ESBL forming bacteria in the intestine. Even the advanced antibiotics are completely ineffective against these highly tolerant bacteria
- Infestation with multidrug resistant bacteria is normally harmless to healthy individuals because their immune systems can keep the pathogens under control. Problems arise when an individual becomes seriously ill
- Israel experienced a nationwide eruption few years ago. Within a few months, about 1,300 people were stricken by an extremely dangerous bacterium that killed 40 per cent of infected patients. Even today, the same bacterium still sickens nearly 300 people a year.