Bedbugs Just Got Worse: Super Bacteria Found
Researchers have found an alarming combination: bedbugs carrying the drug-resistant MRSA bacteria.
Canadian scientists reported in last week's edition of Emerging Infectious Disease that they found the superbug in bedbugs from three hospital patients who lived in a poor Vancouver neighborhood.
Bedbugs are not known to spread disease, and there's no evidence that the five bedbugs found on the patients or their belongings had spread MRSA or a second, less dangerous drug-resistant germ.
But bedbugs can cause itching, which can lead to excessive scratching. That can cause skin breaks that make people more susceptible to the bacteria, said coauthor Dr. Marc Romney.
Romney and colleagues did the research after seeing a simultaneous boom in bedbugs and MRSA cases.
Five bedbugs were analyzed. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, was found on three. MRSA is resistant to several common antibiotics and can become deadly if it gets into the bloodstream.
Two bugs had VRE, or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, a less dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
It's not clear whether the bacteria came from the bedbugs or the bugs got it from infected people, Romney said.
General Manager - Staff Entomologist