Necrotising faciitus, sometimes referred to as 'flesh-eating disease', is a life-threatening infection requiring urgent surgical and medical therapy. It is most often caused by Group A streptococci, Clostridium perfringens or a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic organisms. Historically, Staph. aureus rarely causes necrotising faciitus, however an alarming number of cases caused by community-acquired (CA) MRSA have recently been reported at a medical centre in the United States1,2.
MRSA is no longer a problem confined to hospitals. CA-MRSA is becoming more common around the world. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States estimates that 12% of clinical MRSA infections are community acquired (varying by geographic region and population)3. In the UK, 100 cases of CA-MRSA have been reported in the last 3 years and one patient has died4. Doctors and microbiologists should be aware of the increasing incidence of CA-MRSA around the world and the possible involvement of these strains in life-threatening infections, such as necrotising faciitus.
Thermo Scientific products for the detection and isolation of MRSA strains provide valuable confirmation of MRSA, quickly, conveniently and reliably. These include a range of suitable culture media, such as Thermo Scientific ORSAB selective medium (Product Code: CM1008 and SR0195) and Thermo Scientific Chromogenic MRSA Agar (Product Code: PO1091A) for the detection of MRSA from routine swab samples, and a full range of products for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. In addition, the Thermo Scientific PBP2 latex agglutination test (Product Code: DR0900A) detects MRSA specific antigen in suspect colonies within just a few minutes, providing rapid confirmation and allowing prompt initiation of appropriate treatment and control measures. This test has already proven to be invaluable in many hospitals around the world, providing results a day earlier than traditional methods.
For further information about Thermo Scientific products for the detection of MRSA, please visit the Thermo Scientific website or contact Carlene Simmons, contact details are at the top of this page.
1. Miller, L.G., Perdreau-Remington, F., Rieg, G. et al (2005) N Engl J Med 352: 1445-1453.
2. The Guardian, 14th April 2005. Scare in the Community.
3. CDC, Community-associated MRSA, Information for the public.
4. HPA Press Statement, 2nd March 2005. Community-acquired MRSA.