Minerva

Bacteria in hospital . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6825 (Published 05 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:i6825

Don't blame the staff for staph

The idea that hospital staff might go around spreading infection arose in the 1780s and took about a hundred years to sink in. Whole genome bacterial sequencing can now track how many bacteria come to hospitals from outside and how many are spread by healthcare workers. Reassuringly, a study from the intensive care unit at the Royal Sussex Hospital, UK, found that in the presence of standard infection control measures, healthcare workers were infrequently sources of transmission of Staphylococcus aureus to patients (Lancet Infect Dis doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30413-3). Instead, the epidemiology showed a continuous ingress of distinct subtypes rather than transmission of genetically related strains.

Bednets bomb in Haiti

Bednets treated with insecticide are useful for preventing malaria when the disease is spread by Anopheles mosquitoes that …

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