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Antibacterial creams could lead to MRSA.

Common use of antibiotic ointments for cuts and scrapes may be leading to the emergence of a new, drug-resistant strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

A study in the October issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases found the antibiotic-resistant MRSA strain, known as USA300, is common in the United States where antibiotic ointments are used often, but the strain is less common in Japan, where triple antimicrobial ointments are not used often. Ointments such as bacitracin and polysporin could be contributing to the spread of USA300, said the authors, who recommended more cautious use of the over-the-counter wound treatment. Community-acquired MRSA is spreading rapidly worldwide and is an ongoing public health concern.

The study's authors urged more study in both the United States and Japan to gauge the susceptibility of MRSA strains to antibiotic ointments and how use of such ointments might be leading to the emergence of drug-resistant MRSA strains. They said such study will provide "valuable information" on the emergence of organisms resistant to over-the-counter topical antibiotics "and is likely a warning against the indiscriminate use of antimicrobial drugs."
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Nov 1, 2011
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