HPA urges GPs to take swabs to tackle MRSA

GPs are vital in the fight against MRSA and could prevent the problem in the UK worsening, claims an infection expert.

Professor Sally Bloomfield, chairwoman of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene, said the risk of the ‘edges becoming blurred' between community and healthcare-acquired MRSA were real.

In the worse case scenario, Straphylococcus aureus (SA) carrying the necrotising toxin Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) could spread throughout hospitals if, for example, an unknown carrier is admitted for surgery.

Only around 2 per cent of SA cases in the UK carry PVL, but experts fear this rate may rise, as is happening in parts of the US.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has drawn up a consultation plan for MRSA, which calls on GPs to take swabs of recurrent abscesses or necrotising tissue to determine SA infection.

‘It's absolutely vital that we do this,' said Professor Bloomfield.

‘The community-acquired strains have developed independently of the hospital strains and we simply don't know who has this.'

The HPA document is out for consultation until the end of February.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

GP is running an MRSA survey. Enter it here to be included in a draw for £100 worth of Amazon vouchers.

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus