22 July 2009

Media round-up: recommending MRSA stories

By chance — or is it because interest is really picking up? — a couple of worthwhile stories on MRSA have been published almost simultaneously:
  • For when the science gets wonky: Environmental Health Perspectives has an excellent lay-language explanation of how drug resistance emerges and spreads — with gorgeous graphics!
  • For when yet another drug doesn't work: Scientific American covers development of new antibiotics, and even more important, development of new ways of creating antibiotics.
  • For yet more depressing news about MRSA in meat: Prevention adds to the discussion of MRSA in the food supply with a "special report" review. Constant readers who have been following along as we've drilled into this topic over the past two years won't find a lot new, except for an intriguing account of an outbreak of MRSA in an Arkansas chicken plant (in which the bug went disappointingly untyped, so we don't know whether it was a human strain or ST398). The story hits on issues we have talked about here: Surveillance for MRSA in animals is non-existent, practically speaking, and when the bug is found, investigation falls between human and animal health agencies. It's a longer than usual story for Prevention, and should bring the knotty food-policy questions around MRSA in meat to a new audience.

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