FRIDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- A new strain of the
antibiotic-resistant bacteria methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus(MRSA) has been detected in cows' milk
in the United Kingdom and Denmark.
Dr. Mark A. Holmes, of the department of veterinary medicine at
the University of Cambridge in England, and his colleagues warned
that this new variant, which is genetically different than existing
MRSA strains, could go undetected by typical testing
Common in hospitals and nursing homes, MRSA can cause serious
illness or even death. The new strain of MRSA identified in cows'
milk is also associated with disease in humans, according to the
report published in the June 2 online edition of
The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Although the pasteurization of milk would prevent any risk of
infection through the food chain, the investigators noted that more
research is needed to determine if people who come into close
contact with cattle are at greater risk because the study also
found indirect evidence that cows could be an important source of
this new strain of MRSA infection in humans.
The researchers also warned that the new strain of MRSA could be
wrongly diagnosed as methicillin-susceptible, leading to
prescriptions for the wrong antibiotics.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers more detailed