13 January 2009

Seriously, a global problem

Serendipitously, as I was preparing the previous post (an intro to GlobalPost.com, which will be featuring posts from SUPERBUG), an auto-push email from the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service landed in my inbox.

For those of you whose bedtime reading is not obscure medical journals (I know: This is what you have me for), PubMed is a search interface that allows you to pull articles for medical journals wordwide. It also offers a push option: Set a search term, fill in your email, and links to the latest articles on your term of choice are delivered. I have my search set to "MRSA" and have the results pushed once a week; there are never fewer than 25 new papers, which is a great gauge of how active an area of research — and how important a topic — MRSA is.

The latest push — 26 articles — vividly reminded me that, as NIAID Diretor Dr. Anthony Fauci said a few months ago, we are in the midst of "a global pandemic."

Here is a sampling of those latest papers, from, again, a single week:

No question, constant readers: What we are talking about here is an international problem, a truly global bug.

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