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Multi-resistant bacteria found in Sweden

Published: 16 Jun 2011 09:13 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2011 09:13 GMT+02:00

The first Swedish cases of the multi-resistant bacteria MRSP (methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius) in humans have been found in Uppsala, north of Stockholm.

“It is the first time we have established these among humans in Sweden and we are now looking into how they were infected,” said Johan Hedlund, infectious disease nurse in Uppsala to Uppsala Nya Tidning (UNT).

Both patients had contacted health care providers after experiencing trouble with infected leg wounds and diabetes.

The first case was detected in Uppsala in March and the second two months later.

MRSP is a bacterium found mainly in animals. Just like the human variation MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) it is resistant to most kinds of antibiotics.

“We have known for a while that people can be carriers of the MRSP bacteria but we have never been able to note the spread pattern. Now we have two cases where people have been infected,” Hedlund said to UNT.

However, according to Hedlund there is no reason for the public to worry about MRSP. It is the human variation MRSA that hospitals in Sweden and abroad have had trouble with.

“MRSP isn’t as prone to spreading to humans and doesn’t spread between them. It is adapted to animals and thrives among them,” Hedlund said to UNT.

All cases of detected MRSP wil now have to be reported to the county council in order to monitor a possible spread, according to news agency TT.

But scientists don't believe that there is reason to worry about a new spread of the disease. According to Karin Tegmark Wisell of the Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet) it is a rather harmless bacterium that is generally found in dogs.

When it sometimes is found with humans it can cause painful lesions and boils.

"What is new is that a resistant version now has been found in humans. It makes it harder to treat, even if the bacteria itself isn't more aggressive just because it is resistant to antibiotics," Tegmark Wisell told TT.

However, it is good that Uppsala keeps an eye on these two cases, she said to TT.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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