Science Questions

Will MRSA develop further resistance?

Sun, 21st Sep 2008

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Superbugs! Treating MRSA and C. diff

Question

Rolly Mandlebrot asked:

If we discover a cure for MRSA by whatever means won’t we just end up with a bacterium that’s resistant to whatever our cure is and it’s something worse?

Answer

Sani - Really bacteria are quite clever as we all know.  The issue is provided we keep on developing new antibiotics we’ll be a step ahead of the organism.  I don’t believe we should just stay back and say, ‘They’re probably winning anyway. Let’s leave them.’

Chris - The numbers of MRSA are going down, aren’t they?

Sani - Yes.  It’s partly because of intervention measures that have come in over the last few years.  We’re putting less intravascular devices in nowadays where we’re taking much more care when putting in plastic devices.  At the first sign of any infection these plastic devices are taken out.  It’s probably the main reason why catheter-related blood stream infections, particularly MRSA, have gone down.

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