September 15, 2009
[efoods]The so-called superbug MRSA, a multiresistant strain of staphylococcus usually found in hospitals, has been discovered for the first time on US beaches, a study said.
The antibiotic-resistant strain, which is increasingly found in prisons, gym locker rooms and homes, can cause skin conditions and organ ailments and serious and sometimes fatal cases of pneumonia.
“This is the first report of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) from marine water and inertial beach sand,” said Marilyn Roberts, a microbiologist at the University of Washington in Seattle and co-author of the study, during a press briefing Saturday.
The study was presented on the first day of the 49th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agency and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), which is being held in San Francisco this weekend.
The study describes the discovery of the MRSA strain on five out of 10 public beaches along the coasts of Washington and California, where researchers collected sand and water samples between February and September 2008.