Rare strain of S. Aureus is found to be the deadliest

USA600, a rare strain of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is about 5 times more deadly than other strains, according to a study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

USA600, a rare strain of drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is about 5 times more deadly than other strains, according to a study at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Half of the patients with bloodstream infections caused by the so-called USA600 strain of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) died within a month of diagnosis, according to Carol Moore, PharmD, of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

In contrast, over the 3-year study, only about 11% of patients with bloodstream infections caused by other MRSA strains died, said Dr Moore.

According to Norberto A. Alberto, RPh, MS, HScD, director of Pharmacy Services, New York Downtown Hospital, New York, "One of the solutions to reducing resistance and improving health outcomes whether from the USA600 strain of MRSA or other pathogens, is the addition of an infectious disease pharmacist to a health-systems antimicrobial stewardship program.”

The Infectious Disease Society of America, Arlington, VA, supports the inclusion of pharmacists to stewardship programs, according to Dr Alberto.

“The literature is copious with studies of stewardship programs and the leadership pharmacists provide through appropriate antimicrobial selection and streamlining of ideal therapy,” he said. “We have an opportunity now to demonstrate expertise and maximal patient care to improve health outcomes for all patients that rely on us for their care.”