Forget MRSA and E. coli, there is another bacterium that is becoming increasingly dangerous due to antibiotic resistance – and it is covered on every person on the planet's skin.
Close Relative to MRSA Staphylococcus epidermidis, is the leading cause of life-threatening infections after surgery, but doctors and scientists often ignore them because they are so rich.
Researchers at the University of Milwaukee Evolution Center at Batu University warned that the threat posed by this organism should be taken more seriously and that additional precautions should be taken for those with a higher risk of infection, which should undergo an operation.
They have identified 61 sets of genes that allow this harmless skin bacterium to cause a life-threatening illness.
They hope that we will understand why some strains S. epidermidis under certain conditions can cause illness, in the future they could determine which patients are most at risk of infection before surgery.
They took samples from patients who suffered from hip or knee replacement and fracture fixation, and compared them with nudge samples from healthy volunteers.
They compared genetic variations across genomic bacteria found in samples of sick and healthy individuals. From this, they identified 61 genes causing bacteria, which were not in most cases the whole sample.
Surprisingly, however, there was a small number of healthy individuals who were considered to be unaware of the lethal form of bacteria.
Disease-causing genes have helped the bacteria grow in the bloodstream, avoid the host's immune response, make the surface of the cell contagious, so that the body can create biofilms and resist antibiotics.
The group published its research Natural communication this week
This study was led by professor Sams Sheppards, director of bioinformatics at the Milner Evolution Center at the German University. He said: "Staphylococcus epidermidis is a deadly pathogen in the plain sight.
"It has always been neglected clinically, as it is often assumed that it was a contaminant in laboratory samples or it was simply taken as a known risk of surgery.
"Post-surgical infections can be incredibly serious and can be fatal. In the United Kingdom, infections account for almost a third of the deaths, so I believe we should do more to reduce the risk, if possible.
"If we can identify who is most at risk of infection, we can target these patients in addition to hygiene precautions before they undergo surgery."
He added: "Because the mistake is so rich, they can develop very quickly, mutually changing the genes.
"If we do not do anything to control it, there is a risk that these disease-causing genes could spread more widely, which means that postoperative infections resistant to antibiotics could become even more common."
Professor Dietrich Mack of Bioscientia Medical Diagnostics GmbH, Germany, said: "Prosthetic replacement surgery helps many patients live an independent and helpless life, but can do a catastrophic course through S. epidermidis infection.
"These infections are difficult to diagnose, and it is hoped that disease-induced genes can help to distinguish harmless skin isolates from disease-causing S. epidermidis clinical laboratory. This should be addressed in future studies. "
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