- LONDON (Rueters) - Medical experts called Friday for special precautions after
Japanese doctors identified new strains of a superbug with some resistance
to the most potent antibiotic.
- Dr. Keiichi Hiramatsu and colleagues
at Jutendo University in Tokyo found a strain of the common infection staphylococcus
aureus earlier this year -- known by its initials as VRSA -- that did not
respond to vancomycin, the last line of defense against infection.
- In their latest research, reported in
The Lancet medical journal, they uncovered more strains of the organism
that showed variable resistance to the drug.
- "This is a very big warning,"
Dr. Soad Tabaqchali, a microbiologist at St. Bartholomew's & Royal
London School of Medicine and Dentistry, told Reuters.
- "If this organism spreads, we may
find some patients for whom the only antibiotics available are ineffective."
- Strains of the so-called MRSA bacteria
that are resistant to the antibiotic methicillin have been found around
the world since the late 1970s, but doctors have always had another weapon
- The discovery of the new strains of VRSA
means the new superbug might eventually be untreatable.
- Hiramatsu and his team said there is
"a need for special precaution to limit the spread of VRSA strains,"
a plea repeated by Tabaqchali.
- "More has to be done regarding detection,
infection control and antibiotic policies," she said. "We need
to reduce usage of these very important antibiotics."
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