The lot of an alternative health writer is a strange one. There are days when you wonder if it’s merely that orthodox medical chemical solutions have failed us and it’s all just been the most terrible mistake. On others, you wonder if we are actually under attack as a species.
Today is no exception … as we hear about yet another potentially deadly, flesh eating superbug to have found its way into communities through being passed on in buses and trains.
This new strain of MRSA which, so far, has caused problems in the United States of America, is now becoming more evident in Britain. Known as USA300, it passes easily through skin-to-skin contact and the main front-line antibiotics have no effect on this superbug’s abilities to cause large boils on the skin. In rare instances, it can even lead to fatal blood poisoning or a type of pneumonia that eats away at the lung’s tissues.
There were 200 cases of commuity-acquired USA300 in Britain last year, and unlike the hospital varieties of MRSA, this one doesn’t just target those with weakened immunity.
“These community-acquired strains seem to be good at affecting healthy people – they seem to be much better than the hospital ones at causing disease,” said Dr Ruth Massey, from the Department of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Bath,
“They don’t rely on healthcare workers moving them around, which the hospital ones seem to.”
All this has just come out in a new research paper, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
In a study, Dr Massey and her colleagues analysed the way community-acquired MRSAs are able to adapt and fine tune themselves to spread outside of hospitals. It’s almost as if they are custom-designed to cause the most damage possible with the Trojan horse like ability to lay low in the host body, like a sleeper, and not present a challenge to it until they are ready to strike.
Dr Massey said:.
“The ability of the MRSA bacteria to secrete toxins is one of the main ways it causes disease.
‘Using a sensing system, it carefully controls when it switches on its ability to do this, so as not to cause disease until it is firmly established within the human.
“Many antibiotics target the cell walls of harmful bacteria, and to resist this, the bacteria have to make changes to their cell wall.
“Community-acquired MRSA strains have cell walls that are different to those seen in hospitals, allowing them to sense their environment and switch toxin expression on at the right time.”
Justine Rudkin, a PhD student working on the project, said: ‘The community-acquired bacteria has evolved further, and is able to maintain a higher level of toxicity while also resisting treatment from antibiotics, making it a much larger problem.”
She added: ‘While we are constantly learning more about MRSA, there is a serious threat posed by this newer strain of bacteria capable of causing disease and even death in perfectly healthy people.
“We need to respond seriously to this threat as it reaches Britain from the United States.”
At the risk of provoking, in the reader, the words ‘stable door’, ‘horse’ and ‘bolted’, can we just politely point out that all these ‘superbugs’ have arisen as a direct result of the over-use and abuse of antibiotics? And that before World War 2, when the chemical industries were in their infancy, and when colloidal silver was relied upon as a safe and natural ‘antibiotic’, you’d have had to go back to the 17th century and The Great Plague of London for any any so-called virulent, incurable and flesh-eating ‘superbugs’.
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