Tuesday, April 8, 2008

MRSA, is there a cure?

MRSA; simply state those four lettters to anyone associated with the health system and no doubt, a cold wave of shudders shall come your way in return. Methicillin-resistant Staphpylococcus aureus, or MRSA for short, is a strain of the common Staphpylococcus aureus bacterium . Yet what seperates this strain from the others is its ability to remain immune against treatments ranging from penicillin and methicillin, to cephalosporins and beta-lactam antibiotics, thus making it a considerably difficult disease to treat.

Although first discovered in 1961, the "superbug" as it is termed, was refrained only to limited areas in the UK. Yet through eventual progression throughout the world it has become one of the most serious diseases known today. Only last year was a study done by the CDC that revealed, as of Oct 07, that MRSA was responsibe for more deaths in the US than AIDS.
Although the propsed drug of use at the moment is vanomycin, there have already been reports of a vanomycin resistant MRSA. So what is the cure for this potentially lethal disease?

It seems that as recently as this month, according to the UPI, scientists in the New Orleans found aligators may hold the potential antidote within thier very blood. Thier reason to test this theory relies on the unusually resistant immune system, that aligators possess against variety of viruses, bacteruim and fungi. Steve would be so proud!

Yet this is not the only curious method of treatment that has been proposed. Scientists have also suggested the use of basic clay, which they believe possesses three minerals capable of inhibiting MRSA progress. Of course these are simply proposals that are still in considerable development, and cannot provide a definate identification or method by which MRSA can be treated.

Thus the only possible reliant possibility, at present, lies with prevention. Through the use of sterilizing alcohol, strict rules of sanitation, regulated hygiene practices hospitals, various places around the world have been able to slowly decrease the affect that MRSA has on the population has it large. Of course even this method is one with considerable holes, yet until our scientists can conjour some magic clay or miraculous blood potion, it is this method that we must abide by and hence attempt to stop the "unstoppable" superbug.

By: Sarah Chaudhry

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