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MRSA: Hedgehog bacteria have evolved antibiotic resistance before drug use




The strain of the antibiotic-resistant MRSA seems to have settled on the skin of hedgehogs over 200 years ago. And many other equally evasive bugs can exist in nature.


January 5, 2022

Hedgehogs, wild, native and European hedgehogs are located on green moss and in a forward-facing natural forest habitat. The background is blurry. Scientific name: Erinaceuseuropaeus. Copy the space horizontally.  Shutterstock ID 1031156368; Order:-; Job:-; Client:-; Other:-

European hedgehog

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Strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA Seems to have evolved in Hedgehog Early 1800s – long before the introduction of antibiotics.How are the survey results? Antibiotic resistance It can occur in nature and emphasizes the need for careful use of antibiotics.

Staphylococcus aureus Is a bacterium that can live harmlessly on our skin and nose. However, it can sometimes cause skin and intestinal infections.

Methicillin resistance Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of these bacteria Antibiotics Like methicillin. As a result, it can cause infections that are difficult to treat. Most cases are taken up in hospitals and some are fatal.

Over the past decade or so, researchers have begun to discover a type of MRSA known as mecC-MRSA in all types of wildlife, including wild boars, storks, snakes, and hedgehogs.

Although mecC-MRSA appears to be relatively rare in most of these species, researchers have found it in many hedgehogs. To find out why, Ewan Harrison of the University of Cambridge and his colleagues studied a swab sample from 276 European hedgehogs ().Erinaceuseuropaeus) From 10 European countries and New Zealand.

Hedgehogs in Greece, Romania, France, Italy and Spain did not appear to have mecC-MRSA on their skin. But others did-for example, 66% of hedgehogs in England and Wales were tested positive for bacteria.

These animals also had a fungus called Trichophyton erinacei Live on their skin. This fungus is known to produce chemicals that can kill bacteria.

In the experiment, the team found it T. erinacei I made an antibiotic called KPN that can kill mecC-MRSA only when the gene for antibiotic-resistant bacteria is removed. This suggests that antibiotic resistance genes are the key for bacteria to survive with fungi on the skin of hedgehogs.

“This kind of MRSA may have emerged as a result of a co-evolutionary battle in the skin of hedgehogs,” says Harrison.

By comparing the number of mutations in the bacterial strain, the team estimates that mecC-MRSA occurred in hedgehogs around 1800, long before methicillin was introduced in 1959.

MecC-MRSA can cause infections in humans, but these are rare. It is unlikely that humans will be infected with MRSA from hedgehogs. Because we don’t come into frequent contact with hedgehogs. However, mecC-MRSA can infect livestock from hedgehogs, increasing the likelihood of infecting people.

The survey results are Use antibiotics carefully – Harrison says even a new drug that may appear to kill many types of bacteria. “The resistance is there,” he says. “Just because we haven’t seen it in humans doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anywhere and we can’t become humans.”

Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038 / s41586-021-04265-w

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