Researchers have found that potentially deadly hospital superbug MRSA is mainly spread by patients moving between hospitals.
They have called for more screening of people who are repeatedly admitted to different hospitals to try to break this transmission cycle, which would eventually help wipe out MRSA.
AdvertisementDuring the study, researchers studied the geographical location of different strains of MRSA across 26 European countries.
"To my utter surprise, we found that MRSA strains were geographically concentrated," BBC News quoted lead author Hajo Grundmann from the University Medical Centre in Groningen in the Netherlands, as saying.
He said that distribution of MRSA suggested it is transmitted by patients who frequent different hospitals, rather than being spread in the community.
"MRSA appears to be spread by patients who ping-pong around between hospitals. These are often frail or elderly people with on-going health problems," said Grundmann.
"The exciting thing is that if we know that MRSA is spread by this core group who are going back and forth between hospitals, we can do something about it and we may ultimately be able to eradicate MRSA.
"The message of this report is that doctors should try to identify people who often move between hospitals or other health care institutions such as nursing homes and they should be screened for MRSA.
"This could be done in hospital or at GP surgeries.
"Then steps can be taken to treat those who have the infection and limit transmission of MRSA," he added.
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