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Author Topic: MRSA! We're all going to die!
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2007 19:26      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

Just thought I'd get a jump on all the hysteria.

I don't know if this or necrotizing faciitis is going to kill us all first.

Is there a bio geek in the house?

Colonel Panic

Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2007 21:18      Profile for Chesty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is bad stuff - We know a family that has it and have had fevers and infections for over a year, the one lady lost her foot to infection.
Posts: 416 | From: The Beach | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2007 21:31      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 

You called?

MRSA's been around for a while. So have a lot of drug-resistant infections. I knew a guy in high school who fought a royal battle with MRSA. He came down with it following knee surgery. Someone in the OR wasn't as sterile as they should have been. My brother has had a couple staph infections (not drug resistant). A dude in my department also fought off staph last year. I dunno why it's suddenly big press. MDR and XDR TB are far scarier, IMHO, but I guess since those two are mainly Second and Third World problems and mainly infect poor people with AIDS, no one here needs to give a shit. [Roll Eyes] So instead the press has got us all freaking out about what is essentially a hospital bug that people can avoid by washing their hands, bathing regularly, keeping their wounds clean, keeping their showers clean, and generally practicing good hygiene.

That said, stay away from antibiotic-laced soaps. That little trend only contributes to our ongoing drug resistance problems, as does that annoying habit some doctors have of prescribing antibiotics when they really aren't needed and that annoying habit patients have of not finishing their prescriptions. Scrubbing for at least ten seconds with ordinary soap does the job just fine. If you're stuck in a soapless place, like a bathroom near a large lecture hall on a university campus, an alcohol based hand sanitizer will also do the job. They actually put up Purell dispensers all over my campus to try and encourage people to clean their hands. I swear, the top three disease vectors are mosquitos, rats, and undergrads.

ETA: Actually, I think I know why MRSA is in the news. The CDC and other public health and research institutions are starved for money right now, and they're trying to get it across to people that they matter. It sucks that they need to do that - it seems like some things should just go without saying, but there you are. The funding situation has been shit for the better part of seven years now and it just gets bleaker and bleaker. Unless you can put a bioterror spin on things and write a DARPA grant, you're fscked. In the ass. Twice and deeply. The NSF is funding less than 5% of the grants it receives. The NIH cut-off is 10%. There are private foundations we can go to, but private funding is just as dicey these days. The direct, downstream application of my lab's work is new classes of antibiotics, but we've still been having a hard time (and yes, our putative drug targets are in staph and a whole host of other uglies, including TB). Support the labrats. We're working hard for you. [Razz]

And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged

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Icon 1 posted October 16, 2007 23:43      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The problem with getting the funding for developing new antibiotics is that the big pharma companies do not what to do this. They just look at the numbers and say, that is not worth it. If you take an antibiotic, you take it for a week, and you are cured and hopefully you never need it again. If you have cancer or AIDS, you need medicine every day for years. In what would you invest.

I work for a pharma company that develops MSRA antibiotics. The compnay was started when a certain big pharma compny dropped a very promising antibiotic because they didn't think they would earn enough money off of it, and a few scientists left that copany to go get funding to bring this drug to the market. (hopefully it hits the market 2008)((the company was started in 2000, that is how long it takes to develop new drugs))

post scriptum

Likemany hospital workers I get to be in the fun position of working in a lab that has samples contaminated with MSRA bacteria.

"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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Icon 1 posted October 17, 2007 07:11      Profile for Aditu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Be careful in that lab!

Isn't that what Jim Henson died of? I know I've heard about it for a while, but my mom was a nurse.

I have a hard time getting low level antibiotics when DM does need them. They want to give you a short run elephant gun. I'd rather she took something like arythromycin for longer so the big guns work for her later.

Posts: 1355 | From: Osten Ard | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
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Icon 1 posted October 18, 2007 08:32      Profile for ewomack   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Whoa... I'm off to wash my hands...

Ed Womack
Get Milked

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Icon 1 posted October 19, 2007 06:47      Profile for RScottV     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I remember correctly, Henson died of pneumococcal sepsis/pneumonia. I am sure it was a strep, not a staph.

X's post above is right on, except that I would add that the recent media frenzy is due to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that showed a high prevalence of the disease in American hospitals. (I haven't read it yet, so don't know the details.) As she said, not really new information. MDRTB is much scarier because it is so contagious and there is much less available to treat it. (Remember the scared lawyer on the plane? He had MDRTB.)


The American media, in their infinite laziness, pays attention to only two journals: JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. An article from one of those two journals makes the news nearly weekly. Occasionally, they will give a nod to Science or Nature or one of the major medical journals if they publish something sensational. As a result, the public hears very little about the vast majority of medical research.

Posts: 211 | From: Saint Paul, MN | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged

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