Flesh Eating Bacteria
R.Burge at bay.cc.kcl.ac.uk
Mon Jun 13 09:27:53 EST 1994
In article <1994Jun10.183313.12131 at news.yale.edu> FRICHARD at biomed.med.yale.edu (Frank Richardson) writes:
>Does anyone have any more detailed info on the recently media-exposed "flesh
>eating bacteria"? I heard on one channel that it was a strep, and staph on
>another channel and none mentioned what treatment was being used (i.e. if
>was resistance to any antibiotics). Has this bug ever been reported before? I
>have never heard of it until about two weeks ago.>Thanks!
If it's the same as the recent outbreaks in the UK, it's a beta-haemolytic
strep A. It is still subsceptible to antibiotic treatment (penicillin,
cephalosporins), but appears to be more virulent. It may be producing more
"flesh-eating" enzymes for example (various proteases, DNAases, haluronidase -
ECM gets broken down). One idea is that it's been infected with a lysogenic
phage of strep. A, hence the confusion in the British press as to whether it
is a bacterium or a virus!
Apart from the increased virulence (if any), it's nothing new - just hospital
gangrene, first described in the literature in 1924...
Richard Burge | e-mail:
King's College London | R.Burge at bay.cc.kcl.ac.uk
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