Researchers have identified white staphylococcus variants that are resistant to antibiotics. They are able to infect the weakest patients in hospital, where they tend to spread quickly.
White staph (Staphylococcus epidermidis) is usually present on human skin. It is also well known to be a major source of sample contamination in analytical laboratories. On the other hand, a recent study reveals that three multiresistant strains have developed are spreading in hospitals worldwide. The discovery was made by researchers at the University of Melbourne (Australia) in their study published September 3, 2018 in the journal Nature Microbiology.
“We started with samples in Australia, and then obtained a global overview and found that the bacterium is present in many countries and many institutions around the world,” said Benjamin Howden, leader of the study .
It turns out that these strains are a worrying cause of nosocomial disease in the weakest patients, such as the elderly or those with implanted devices (heart valves, catheters, etc.). Australian scientists have examined hundreds of samples from 78 hospitals around the world to identify three variants of antibiotic-resistant white staphylococcus.
“It can be deadly, but it’s usually in patients who are already very sick in the hospital… It can be quite difficult to eradicate and infections can be serious,” said Benjamin Howden.
The three identified white staphylococcal strains have, according to researchers, altered their DNA to become resistant to two of the most commonly used antibiotics in hospitals and even often used together. In addition, the spread of the bacteria would most often occur in intensive care units, where the sickest patients receiving antibiotics in large quantities are found.