How a MRSA strain came to flourish
February 21st, 2012
04:29 PM ET

How a MRSA strain came to flourish

How did MRSA, a persistent and  deadly bug, become the drug-resistant bacteria vexing medical and public health experts?

The answer is in the genes.  Researchers have pinpointed how a common strain found in livestock, called Staphylococcus aureus CC398 bounced from humans, when it was treatable, to animals where it became antibiotic resistant. 

Drug-resistant staph infection has been linked to the over use of antibiotics in livestock.  This is the first study to chart the genetic link between that and its consequences in humans.

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to common antibiotics. Staph infection can be especially deadly when it occurs in people who have weak immune systems.  But it’s usually treatable through antibiotics.  The problem with MRSA is that it's a superbug – unable to be treated or cured with the usual antibiotics.

MRSA has resulted in 278,000 hospitalizations and more than 18,000 deaths in 2005, according to one study.

In a study published Tuesday in online journal mBio, researchers from Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona, Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, and several other institutions, sequenced the genes of this particular bacteria.

The strain, Staphylococcus aureus CC398 started in humans and was still treatable with antibiotics, said Lance Price, director of the Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health Translational Genomics Research Institute in Arizona.

It  spread to livestock, which are usually pumped with antibiotics, to keep them healthy. “The lineage appears to have undergone a rapid radiation in conjunction with the jump from humans to livestock, where it subsequently acquired tetracycline and methicillin resistance,” according to the study.

 Methicillin and tetracycline are among the most common antibiotics used to treat staph infections.

The problem is in the way animals are raised and pumped with antibiotics, said Price, the lead author of the study.  He said that farmers and ranchers give millions of pounds of antibiotics to farm animals to make them grow faster and to prevent - rather than treat - diseases.

It’s a controversial practice that has been banned in the European Union since 2006 because it contributes antibiotic resistance.

Farmers and workers surrounded by livestock are exposed to MRSA, which thrives in cluttered, congested and unclean feeding operations, Price said.  They tend to be “overcrowded, have tons of contact, compromised skin, and they’re filthy.  Now think about introducing an antibiotic in that setting,” he said.

“I couldn’t engineer a better system for creating drug-resistant bacteria or a superbug, than introducing antibiotics into a concentrated animal feeding operation,” Price said.  “It’s begging for disaster.”

Earlier this year, the FDA prohibited one class of antibiotics in cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys starting April 5, 2012, but some critics say this only restricts one class of drugs and that more regulation is needed to prevent more deadly strains.

“It’s underscoring that as we’re using millions of antibiotics, we’re selecting for drug resistant bacteria to come back and haunt us,” Price said.

soundoff (706 Responses)
  1. weight loss and energy pills


    May 19, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. best otc energy pills

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉


    May 19, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. energy pills reviews


    May 19, 2021 at 02:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Eyeglasses On Sale Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. ultra energy now pills review


    May 19, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. vitamin pills for energy


    May 19, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Video Marketing Agencies

    I blog frequently and I really appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 19, 2021 at 07:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Sign Supply Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 10:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Spa Consultants


    May 19, 2021 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Bedroom Orange County

    Good info. Lucky me I ran across your website by accident (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    May 19, 2021 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. window blinds repair san diego


    May 19, 2021 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. RV Headlights California

    I quite like looking through an article that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 19, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Internet Marketing Experts Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Content Marketing Firms

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog articles.


    May 20, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Local Marketing Agency


    May 20, 2021 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Content Marketing Agencies


    May 20, 2021 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. W88

    639151 431192Very good day. Very cool weblog!! Man .. Outstanding .. Wonderful .. Ill bookmark your web site and take the feeds additionallyI am glad to locate numerous beneficial information correct here within the post. Thank you for sharing.. 919675

    May 20, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Content Marketing Boutique


    May 20, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Video Marketing Agency

    I really like it when individuals get together and share thoughts. Great blog, stick with it!


    May 20, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Pump Windshield Washer Sprinter Repair


    May 20, 2021 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. horse trailer service near me


    May 20, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Approved Sprinter Repair Shops Near Me

    That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 20, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Windshield California

    After going over a number of the blog posts on your website, I truly like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website too and let me know your opinion.


    May 20, 2021 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. oc wheel repair

    I wanted to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…


    May 20, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Tires Riverside

    It’s hard to find well-informed people for this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 20, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. rv interior repair

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am experiencing issues with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can't join it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 20, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Toilets California

    Hi there! I simply wish to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you've got right here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.


    May 21, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Toilets Orange County

    This is a topic which is near to my heart... Cheers! Where are your contact details though?


    May 21, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Fabrication Los Angeles


    May 21, 2021 at 02:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Mercedes Sprinter Cowel Panel Rust Repair

    You have made some good points there. I checked on the internet for more info about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    May 21, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Awning Near Me

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy I found this in my search for something concerning this.


    May 21, 2021 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Leak Orange County

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your web page.


    May 21, 2021 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Shower Near Me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this site. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own website now 😉


    May 21, 2021 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Google Marketing Services


    May 21, 2021 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Bay Doors California

    Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I will send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


    May 21, 2021 at 20:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Blinds Orange County

    I was more than happy to find this web site. I want to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you saved to fav to check out new things in your site.


    May 21, 2021 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Digital Marketing Company Near Me

    Good day! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great info you have got right here on this post. I'll be coming back to your blog for more soon.


    May 21, 2021 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. progressive photo inspection near me

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this information together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 21, 2021 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Google Marketing Consultant


    May 21, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. rv batteries near me

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this info.


    May 22, 2021 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Batteries California

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the info!


    May 22, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Plumbing Riverside

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast because I found it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this topic here on your internet site.


    May 22, 2021 at 06:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv fridge repair near me

    Right here is the right blog for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that's been discussed for many years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    May 22, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. rv replacement parts near me

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog posts.


    May 22, 2021 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Body Shop Near Me

    There's definately a great deal to learn about this topic. I really like all the points you've made.


    May 22, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. california girl pics


    May 22, 2021 at 20:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Collision Repair Los Angeles

    Excellent post. I'm dealing with many of these issues as well..


    May 23, 2021 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. chloroquineorigin

    https://chloroquineorigin.com/ clorochina https://chloroquineorigin.com/ – hydroxychloroquine coronavirus chloroquine hydrochloride

    May 23, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV TV Riverside


    May 23, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Steps Riverside

    I truly love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own website and would like to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Cheers!


    May 23, 2021 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Leave a Reply to RV Collision Repair Los Angeles


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.