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News / March 6, 2014

Worrying MRSA strains in Ireland

by Guy Hiscott

Rises in MRSA strains in Ireland between 2002-2011 have been noted by dental school microbiologists as ‘worrying’.

PVL-positive MRSA (Panton-Valentine leukocidin) can cause disease through destruction of white blood cells and damage to skin and soft tissues.

Scientists also noted that PVL-positive MRSA samples were resistant to antibiotics and found mostly in children and young adults.

Professor David Coleman, chair of oral and applied microbiology at the School of Dental Science in Trinity College Dublin, said these strains were a ‘worrying development’, adding: ‘Enhanced surveillance in both hospitals and communities is vital to ensure that these strains do not spread and become more established.

‘Rapid and informative high-throughput molecular typing using DNA microarrays and whole-genome sequencing will be essential in preventing the spread of these strains.’

The scientists also found that international travel was likely to have been a significant contributory factor to developing MRSA strains.

The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Microbiology. The microbiologists were from the Dental School in Trinity College Dublin.

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