New MRSA superbug discovered in cows’ milk

Catherine de Lange

Best stick to pasteurised (Image: Graeme Norways/Stone/Getty)

Best stick to pasteurised (Image: Graeme Norways/Stone/Getty)

A new strain of MRSA has been identified in cows’ milk and in people, but don’t stop drinking milk – the bug is killed off in pasteurisation.

However, the strain evades detection by standard tests used by some hospitals to screen for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), potentially putting people at risk.

Laura Garcia Alvarez, then at the University of Cambridge, and colleagues were studying infections in British cows when they discovered antibiotic-resistant bacteria that they thought were MRSA. However, tests failed to identify the samples as any known strains of the superbug.

Sequencing the mystery bacteria’s genomes revealed a previously unknown strain of MRSA with a different version of a gene called MecA. The new strain was also identified in samples of human MRSA, and is now known to account for about 1 per cent of human MRSA cases.

Read More>>

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: