MRSA: Resistance isn't futile?

"I am Locutus of Borg. Resistance is futile." - Locutus of Borg

Any science blog must eventually quote from Star Trek. Now that we've gotten that over with, you can relax. Seriously, relax. Seriously.

The Borg, like MRSA, exhibit a rapid adaptability to any situation or threat. They are perhaps the most menacing cybernetic organisms ever imagined, with all due respect to the Daleks, etc. So you can see why, when I think of MRSA, I often think of the Borg. MRSA is menacing and surely resistance to MRSA is futile. MRSA will rise forever, out of control. Well, not so fast.

A new report out in Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease by Jose Bordon, et al. report trends in MRSA counts and proportion that are resistant to non-B-lactam antibiotics during the period 1996 through 2008. The analysis included over 2 million S. aureus isolates and almost 1 million MRSA. Their main findings are (1) MRSA increased in Borg-like fashion until 2004 and (2) resistance to all tested antibiotics, except erythromycin, decreased signficantly during the 12-year period. Resistance to ciprofloxacin, clindamycin, gentamicin, tetracycline, and trim-sulfa decreased measurably. The authors claim this could be due to increasing CA-MRSA as proportion of all MRSA. I'm not sure that could explain all of the declines or that it should alter empiric therapy, as suggested by the authors. Overall, the findings seem encouraging.

DMID article by Bordon (link)
Wikipedia article on the Borg (link)


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