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Tainted Poultry May Spread Deadly MRSA

Tainted Poultry May Spread Deadly MRSA

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By    |   Thursday, 22 September 2016 03:53 PM

There is new evidence that the handling or consumption of tainted poultry may spread the potentially deadly superbug known as MRSA.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is a type of staph bacteria that is particulary dangerous because it's become resistant to many of the antibiotics. 

Over 80,000 invasive MRSA infections and 11,285 related deaths occur each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most MRSA infections occur in people who've been in hospitals or other healthcare settings. It can also be spread among people through contact, putting athletes, child care workers, and others living or working in crowded conditions at risk.

But a novel form of MRSA may be spread through the consumption or handling of contaminated poultry, say researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University.

Their study focuses on a special newly identified strain of MRSA associated with poultry. MRSA is often found in chickens, pigs and other food animals. Previous research has found that people who work directly with livestock are at risk of MRSA infections.

But this new study, done in conjunction with researchers in Demark, found that people with no exposure to livestock could become infected with this new strain of poultry-associated MRSA, most likely by eating or handling contaminated poultry meat.

The findings are based on a genetic analysis involving 10 people living in urban areas of Denmark who had been colonized or hospitalized with MRSA.

"We've known for several years that people working directly with livestock are at increased risk for MRSA infections, but this is one of the first studies providing compelling evidence that everyday consumers are also potentially at risk," says co-research leader Lance Price.

The appears in Clinical Infectious Diseases.  

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The dangerous infection MRSA is usually found in hospital or community settings, but a new study finds it could also be spread by handling or eating tainted poultry.
MRSA, poultry, staph, infection
Thursday, 22 September 2016 03:53 PM
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