Scientists from the Milner Centre for Evolution warn S. epidermidis should be taken more seriously
Forget MRSA and E.coli, there’s another bacterium that is becoming increasingly dangerous due to antibiotic resistance – and it’s present on the skin of every person on the planet.
A close relative of MRSA, Staphylococcus epidermidis, is a major cause of life-threatening infections after surgery, but it is often overlooked by clinicians and scientists because it is so abundant.
Researchers from the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath warn that the threat posed by this organism should be taken more seriously and use extra precautions for those at higher risk of infection who are due to undergo surgery.
They have identified a set of 61 genes that allow this normally harmless skin bacterium to cause life-threatening illness.
They hope that by understanding why some strains of S. epidermidis cause disease in certain circumstances, they could in the future identify which patients are most at risk of infection before undergoing surgery.
They took samples from patients who suffered infections following hip or knee joint replacement and fracture fixation operations and compared them with swab samples from the skin of healthy volunteers.
They compared the genetic variation in the whole genomes of bacteria found in samples from diseased and healthy individuals. From this they identified 61 genes in the disease-causing bacteria that weren’t present in most of the healthy samples.
Surprisingly however, there was a small number of healthy individuals who were found to be carrying the more deadly form of the bacteria without knowing it.
The disease-causing genes were found to help the bacterium grow in the bloodstream, avoid the host’s immune response, make the cell surface sticky so that the organisms can form biofilms and make the bug resistant to antibiotics.
The team published their study in Nature Communications this week.
Professor Sam Sheppard, Director of Bioinformatics at the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, led the research. He said: “Staphlococcus epidermidis is a deadly pathogen in plain sight.
“It’s always been ignored clinically because it’s frequently been assumed that it was a contaminant in lab samples or it was simply accepted as a known risk of surgery.
“Post-surgical infections can be incredibly serious and can be fatal. Infection accounts for almost a third of deaths in the UK so I believe we should be doing more to reduce the risk if we possibly can.
“If we can identify who is most at risk of infection, we can target those patients with extra hygiene precautions before they undergo surgery.”
He added: “Because the bug is so abundant, they can evolve very fast by swapping genes with each other.
“If we do nothing to control this, there’s a risk that these disease-causing genes could spread more widely, meaning post-operative infections that are resistant to antibiotics could become even more common.”
Professor Dietrich Mack, from the Bioscientia Institute for Medical Diagnostics GmbH, Germany, said: “Prosthetic joint replacement surgery helps many patients to live independent and painfree lives, but can take a catastrophic course through S. epidermidis infection.
“These infections are difficult to diagnose and there is hope that disease-associated genes may help to separate harmless skin isolates from disease-causing S. epidermidisstrains in the clinical laboratory. This needs to be addressed in future studies.”
The Latest on: Staphylococcus epidermidis
via Google News
The Latest on: Staphylococcus epidermidis
- Implant Bacteria, Beware: Researchers Create Nano-Sized Assassinson June 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Staphylococcus epidermidis is quite an opportunist. Commonly found on human skin, the bacteria pose little danger. But S. epidermidis is a leading cause of infections in hospitals. From catheters to ...
- Elastase from Staphylococcus epidermidison May 31, 2019 at 5:00 pm
WE report the discovery of an elastolytic enzyme secreted extracellularly by a variant of Staphylococcus epidermidis found on normal human skin. The 30 per cent incidence of this variant in our ...
- Tracking microbes people carry may predict future healthon May 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm
This 2011 digitally-colorized electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a clump of green-colored, spheroid-shaped, Staphylococcus ...
- Staphylococcus Epidermidison May 2, 2019 at 4:21 pm
Modes of Transmission It is part of the normal human flora, typically the skin flora. Although it is usually not pathogenic, patients with compromised immune systems are at risk of developing ...
- New gene variant is even more resistant to hospital antisepticon April 15, 2019 at 1:55 pm
The team showed that the newly discovered gene occurs in a highly virulent and multi-resistant clone of Staphylococcus epidermidis, found in healthcare settings worldwide. The research is published in ...
- Antimicrobial resistance gene: New gene variant is more resistant to hospital antisepticon April 15, 2019 at 1:30 pm
The team showed that the newly discovered gene occurs in a highly virulent and multi-resistant clone of Staphylococcus epidermidis, found in healthcare settings worldwide. A team of investigators has ...
- Rise of MRSA in hospitals linked to common disinfectanton March 13, 2019 at 10:12 am
Hijazi and team looked at the resistance of a specific type of bacteria named Staphylococcus epidermidis to a range of disinfectants. Staphylococcus epidermidis is found on the skin of healthy people ...
- Hospital disinfectants should be regulated like antibiotics new study suggestson March 13, 2019 at 3:36 am
Our analysis, published in Nature Microbiology, focused on resistance to disinfectants in Staphylococcus epidermidis. This bacteria is found on the skin of healthy people and usually causes no harm.
- Novel AI tool can predict risk of infection after surgeryon December 16, 2018 at 7:27 am
Staphylococcus epidermidis is an ubiquitous coloniser of healthy human skin, but it is also a notorious source of serious infections with indwelling devices and surgical procedures such as hip ...
via Bing News