Regular washing of hands helps to minimise infection risks. (File photo) John Birdsall/John Birdsall/Press Association Images

Researchers discover new form of MRSA superbug in two Dublin hospitals

An Irish study has found the new strain of the superbug in two Dublin hospitals as a separate British study finds the new infection originated in cows.

A NEW FORM of the superbug MRSA has been found in two Dublin hospitals, adding to the ongoing burden of treating the infection that is endemic in some medical facilities in Ireland.

The new organism was discovered by researchers at Trinity College Dublin who led an international team that identified the bacterium which the Irish Times reports probably arose in animals and then jumped across to infect humans.

MRSA or Methicillin Resistant Stapyhylococcus Aureus are organisms which have a strong resistance to most antibiotics making them very difficult to treat in humans and costing hospitals in Ireland some €23 million per year.

Those who acquire the infection are seven times more likely to die then patients who do not.

Professor David Coleman from Trinity College told The Irish Times: “This is not just a new strain, this is absolutely and totally different from anything since MRSA was discovered in the 1960s.”

BBC News reports on the same discovery saying it has been found in British cows by researchers carrying out a separate study.

They’ve dubbed it the ‘New MRSA’ with environmental campaigners saying it has emerged because of the over-use of antibiotics by dairy farmers.

But the researchers from Cambridge University, who have written in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal say there is no additional health risk from eating milk and dairy products.

The Irish study in conjunction with German researchers has been published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

In April, the World Health Organisation warned that new strains of antibiotic resistant drugs were evolving and developing too quickly for modern medicine to keep up and called for a new global push to come up with new drugs.

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