MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a bacteria resistant to certain antibiotics. This bacteria occurs frequently in patients who suffer from weakened immune systems, especially in hospitals and nursing homes and is known to spread because of poor hygiene.
Countries like the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway, where MRSA has been relatively low and stable for many years are now facing an increase in incidence with the rates starting to rise. The scientists are estimating hat almost about 2 billion people; almost about 25-30% of the population of the world probably have some form of the bacteria.
Professor Hajo Grundmann, a world expert in infectious diseases, said MRSA in hospitals is already 'out of control' in many countries. Professor Grundmann, from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, Netherlands, who is also one of the authors of the research that has been published in the Lancet, stated, "Of those ... conservative estimates based on either Dutch or U.S. prevalence figures, would predict that between 2 million and 53 million carry MRSA."
He warned that the super-bug has evolved into 'fitter' strains that could prove even more resistant to treatment. The researchers have stated that these strains could "potentially become explosive" in hospitals. They said that the responsibility must be taken up by the healthcare authorities to not only develop surveillance systems that are able to monitor the clonal dynamics of MRSA over wide geographical areas, but also to provide the resources for early recognition of MRSA carriers through rapid screening.
MRSA is fast becoming an increasing problem for many countries over the recent years. The Office for National Statistics has reported that between 2003 - 04, the number of deaths in which MRSA was mentioned on the death certificate rose by 22% in England and Wales. It was also mentioned that death due to infection with MRSA, was almost 6 times more likely to be mentioned on the death certificates of patients in the NHS hospitals and care homes.