Drug-resistant superbug spreading in hospitals


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Staphylococcus Epidermidis, MRSA

Mains level: Growing incidences of HIV in country and measures to prevent it


Three variants found in 10 countries

  1. A superbug resistant to all known antibiotics that can cause “severe” infections or even death is spreading undetected through hospital wards across the world.
  2. Researchers from Australia discovered three variants of the multidrug-resistant bug in samples from 10 countries.

Staphylococcus Epidermidis

  1. The bacteria known as Staphylococcus Epidermidis (Gram-positive) are related to the better-known and more deadly MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) superbug.
  2. It’s found naturally on human skin and most commonly infects the elderly or patients who have had prosthetic materials implanted, such as catheters and joint replacements.
  3. It can be deadly for the patients who already are very sick in the hospital and it is difficult to cure.
  4. The researchers found that some strains of the bug made a small change in its DNA that led to resistance to two of the most common antibiotics.
  5. Another Australian study suggested some hospital superbugs are growing increasingly tolerant to alcohol-based disinfectants found in handwashes and sanitisers used on hospital wards.
Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.
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