Hospital Insects May Carry Drug-resistant Bacteria – Study Shows

Hospital Insects May Carry Drug-resistant Bacteria – Study Shows

In today’s developed countries, there are hospitals and medical facilities present at almost every other corner of a city or town. Hence, dealing with medical emergencies is no longer a big issue and a person can receive immediate help.

However, the increase in professional health centers still does not guarantee to get the best treatment possible for any health condition. This is also under the observation of leading healthcare organizations.

Therefore, even the World Health Organization give guidelines on making a health facility better. Some people assume that poor standards of hospitals and clinics are only a problem in developing or third world nations.

In reality, many western countries face the same issue. For instance, a new study looks at samples of insects from seven different hospitals in the United Kingdom.

Even though countries in the United Kingdom like England would have some of the latest technologies, the study shows that may be available to a few hospitals. The main focus of the study was on the rise of infections in hospitals.

Infections are a big research topic at the moment many of them are coming back. This means the once easily treatable infections are now returning with drug-resistant bacteria.

The recent research was conducted by researchers from Aston University in Birmingham. The results and conclusions can be found in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Read the study here. 

How Was the Study Conducted?

In order to carry out the study, the researchers look at around 19,937 insects from seven hospitals. Around 73.6 percent of these were Diptera. Diptera refers to common house flies, drain flies, and bluebottle flies.

Another 13.9 percent were Hemiptera and 2.9 percent Lepidoptera. The flying insect of the collected samples included beetles, booklice, thrips, sawflies, lacewings, and caddisflies. It took a total of eighteen months for the researchers to find each of these insects.

According to the researchers, these insects even crawled in the meeting rooms, maternity care and neonatal units, and even in the wards. After the collection of samples, stage two was the analysis by the team.

A close examination of the insects shows that nine out of ten infections were bacterial. Eighty-six different strains of bacteria identified as Scherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella.

The most common bacteria( forty-one percent on the insects) were Enterobacteriaceae. This is a combination of both salmonella and E. Coli.

About twenty-four percent also had Bacillus – the bacteria responsible for food poisoning.  Another nineteen percent also carried Staphylococcaceae. This bacteria causes respiratory problems, skin infections, and abscesses.

What Was the Most Worrying Factor?

A common person would normally find the problems caused by the bacteria to be everyday health conditions. However, the researchers also gave some bad news. Around fifty-three percent of the bacteria were drug-resistant to at least one of the antibiotics.

For instance, penicillin did not work on most of the bacterial strains. Also, nineteen percent of all strains had multiple drug resistance. Levofloxacin and vancomycin did not work on such bacteria as well as other typically-used classes of antibiotics.

This large-scale study does not only highlight the need for stricter hygiene measures in hospitals but also the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. The researchers state that the over-use of antibiotics and cleaner hospital environments are both fundamental to prevent any future consequences.

Hilary Jensen

Hilary is a Food Science and Nutrition graduate with specialization in diet planning and weight loss. She enjoys reading and writing on Food, Nutrition, Diet, Weight Loss, and General Health.

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