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MRSA becoming more common in the community

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Cases of MRSA in the UK are becoming more common outside of hospitals, experts have said.

Strains of the disease that have the potential to be deadly can be passed on easily between those who are not hospital patients.

More vigilance when dealing with the PVL-positive community acquired MRSA strains, including USA300, is required, according to Dr Ruth Massey from the University of Bath’s Department of Biology and Biochemistry.

The USA300 strain has spread across America and there are now cases being seen in Britain.

It is a potentially fatal form of the superbug, which is passed on through skin-to-skin contact.

USA300 can also lead to a kind of pneumonia with flesh-eating symptoms.

The strain can cause large boils to develop on the skin and can also survive through various front-line antibiotic treatments.

In the worst cases of USA300, deadly blood poisoning or pneumonia that eats away at tissue in the lungs can develop.

Some 1,000 cases of MRSA which were PVL-positive community-acquired have been seen in England over the last 12 months, 200 of which were strains of USA300, according to Dr Massey.

“These community-acquired strains seem to be good at affecting healthy people - they seem to be much better than the hospital ones at causing disease,” Dr Massey said.

“They don’t rely on healthcare workers moving them around, which the hospital ones seem to.”

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