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Diagnosing Patients with MRSA Infections

 

Narrator: This is Science Today. A team of scientists and engineers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California, Davis Health System are working on point-of-care-testing technology to quickly diagnose patients with bloodstream infections, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

Baker: Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus is becoming a major problem throughout the country. The number of cases is increasing and the number of the percentage of the population that is actively carrying it is very, very large. And this is a very important concern for hospitals and other situations where people who might be infected are coming in contact with otherwise healthy patients.

Narrator: Lab staff member Brian Baker says when diagnosing and treating this infection, it's important to know which strain the patient is carrying.

Baker: In the case of the bloodstream infections, we don't want to use the strongest antibiotics in every case because we don't want to facilitate or accelerate the development of new drug-resistant strains.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.