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MRSA Infections on the Rise; New Detection in the Works

 

Narrator:        This is Science Today. A national study led by Emory University has reported that cases of the dangerous and hard-to-treat bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, are on the rise.

Baker:                        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:        Brian Baker of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is part of a research team working with the University of California, Davis Medical Center to develop point-of-care diagnostic test equipment that can rapidly and accurately diagnose these types of bloodstream infections.

Baker:                        It's important to know if this strain that that patient is carrying is methicillin-resistant strain, in which case we need to administer a different set of antibiotics. If you put the patient on the wrong course of treatment, the infection could be getting worse and worse and could lead to a very poor outcome.

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