The advantage microbes gain from their innate
adaptability is augmented by the widespread and sometimes
inappropriate use of antibiotics. A physician, wishing to placate an
insistent patient who has a virus or an as-yet undiagnosed condition,
sometimes inappropriately prescribes antibiotics. Also, when a patient
does not finish taking a prescription for antibiotics, some bacteria
may remain. These bacterial survivors are more likely to develop
resistance and spread. Hospitals also provide a fertile environment
for antibiotic-resistant germs as close contact among sick patients
and extensive use of antibiotics select for resistant bacteria.
Scientists also believe that the practice of adding antibiotics to
agricultural feed promotes drug resistance.
For all these reasons, antibiotic resistance
has been a problem for nearly as long as we've been using antibiotics.
Natural selection of penicillin-resistant strains in a bacterium known
as Staphylococcus aureus began soon after penicillin was introduced in
the 1940s. Today, antibiotic-resistant strains of S. aureus bacteria
as well as various enterococci (bacteria that colonize the intestines)
are common and pose a global health problem in hospitals. More and
more hospital-acquired infections are resistant to the most powerful
antibiotics available, such as vancomycin. These drugs are reserved to
treat only the most stubborn infections to slow development of
resistance to them.
There are multiple signs that the resistance problem is increasing.
In 2003, epidemiologists reported in The New England Journal of
Medicine that 5 to 10 percent of patients admitted to hospitals
acquire an infection during their stay and that the risk for a
hospital-acquired infection has risen steadily in recent decades.
Increasing reliance on vancomycin has led to the emergence of
vancomycin-resistant enterococci infections. According to CDC, prior
to 1989, no U.S. hospital had reported any vancomycin-resistant
enterococci but subsequently, such microbes have become common in U.S.
The first S. aureus infections resistant to vancomycin emerged in the
United States in 2002, presenting physicians and patients with a
serious problem. In July of that year, CDC reported that a Michigan
patient with diabetes, vascular disease, and chronic kidney failure
had developed the first S. aureus infection completely resistant to
vancomycin. A similar case was reported in Pennsylvania in September
In 2004, the third reported case of vancomycin-resistant S. aureus (VRSA) in the United States was
reported in New York. This case highlighted the failure of several
standard automated susceptibility tests to identify vancomycin
resistance in that isolate and suggests that additional VRSA cases may
have occurred nationwide but escaped detection.
Since then, three additional cases of VRSA, all
occurring in Michigan, have been reported to CDC. Strains of S.
aureus resistant to methicillin are endemic in hospitals and are
increasing in non-hospital settings such as locker rooms and day care
centers. Since September 2000, outbreaks of methicillin-resistant S.
aureus (MRSA) infections have been reported among high school football
players and wrestlers in California, Indiana, and Pennsylvania,
according to CDC. During the 2003 football season, an outbreak of MRSA
occurred among members of a professional football team. A number of
cases of community-associated MRSA have also been reported, including
cases in patients without established risk factors.
Ionic Silver is an excellent
antimicrobial, with relatively low toxicity against non-target
organisms. However, prolonged high intake of ionic silver may lead to
health problems, such as argyria. In an inorganic matrix, silver ions
are slowly released via an ion-exchange mechanism. The release of
silver ions from the surface is slow, but just fast enough to maintain
an effective concentration at and near the surface of the material.
Once the silver ion leaves the surface of the matrix and reaches the
surface of the microorganism, its mechanism of antimicrobial action
begins. Uptake of silver ions by a microbial cell can occur by several
mechanisms, including passive diffusion and active transport by
systems that normally transport essential ions.
While the silver ions may bind
non-specifically to cell surfaces and cause disruptions in cellular
membrane function, it is widely believed that the antimicrobial
properties of silver depend upon silver binding within the cell. Once
inside the cell, silver ions begin to interrupt critical functions of
the microorganism. Silver ions are highly reactive and readily bind to
electron donor groups containing sulphur, oxygen and nitrogen, as well
as negatively charged groups such as phosphates and chlorides. A prime
molecular target for the silver ion resides in cellular thiol (-SH)
groups, commonly found in critical proteins called enzymes. Enzymes
become denatured because of conformational changes in the molecule
that result from silver ion binding. Many of the enzymes that silver
ions denature are necessary in the cellular generation of energy.
Society has become increasingly aware of the growth of bacteria, mold
and fungi, especially in public facilities like schools and hospitals.
Common topical antimicrobial treatments, such as ethyl alcohol, anti
bacterial soaps and disinfectant sprays kill harmful germs, but
provide no residual protection and do not prevent recontamination.
The best solution for long term protection and cleanliness, therefore,
is to use antimicrobial substances on surfaces at risk for
bacterial/fungal growth, or cross contamination through the touch
transfer of these microbes. Papules appear from 12 to 120 hours
following exposure to contaminated water.
This is a tale of a vicious disease that has
a preference for human flesh, and an appetite that surpasses the worst
of nightmares. However, this is not a Hollywood horror movie. This one
is made by Mother Nature, and is very, very real. This is a story of
one such real case. Learn how this near death experience changed there
lives forever for the better. Warning! This book contains Graphic
Surviving MRSA: Learn How to Protect Yourself