Aims and Objectives
Multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a scourge on health services around the world. While not new - the first methicillin-resistant cases were discovered within a year of marketing this drug in 1961 and in the 1950s streptomycin/tetracycline resistant strains were problematic - it continues to evolve with new super-antigen and toxin-laden strains arising de novo in the community and causing great concern because of high transmissibility and occasional mortality.
There is little doubt that, for many countries, MRSA is the major emerging infectious disease of concern, particularly in the healthcare setting. The societal cost in the UK alone has been estimated at over £10 billion/year. The organism has a unique ability to colonise, evolve, invade tissues causing a huge variety of primary and opportunist infections, survive in the environment and spread from patient to patient, often via healthcare staff or fomites. Recent elucidation of the genome of a virulent CAMRSA, USA 300, demonstrates the potential genetic diversity and prospects for further increases in pathogenicity, virulence and antibiotic resistance.
The MRSA Working Group aims to foster the international exchange of ideas and new research into all aspects of MRSA with a view to discovering the best control strategies by implementing the following work plan:
- Organise an annual workshop on MRSA
- Organise occasional PG educational meetings on MRSA
- Encourage submission of original research to the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
- Encourage collaborative research on MRSA