Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sports and bugs...the story of an infection!

Sports...hockey, football, baseball....big guys, tough guys. And who is the toughest guy of all? Not who you might think! Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) IS the tough one!

Recently, many pro athletes have been plagued by MRSA, short for methycillin resistant S. aureus. This type of bacteria is resistant to many, too many, antibiotics and can lead to desastrous infections and permanent conditions....death being one of them!

MRSA spreads quickly among athletes, especially those involved in contact sports, because many of us are colonized by this bacteria. YES WE ARE! We are covered by bacteria, in fact for each human cell there are 10 times as much bacteria...and not just S. aureus. The problem starts when S. aureus invades the skin, mostly where abrasion occurs. After sticking to damaged tissue, the bacteria starts to grow and invade the tissue a bit deeper causing boils. These boils eventually drain and pus comes out...it can be just a bit of pus...or it could be a lot! Pus contains bacteria and can then be transmitted to the next person through contact. If the bacteria is an MRSA then you can be in big trouble....

Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts was revealed to have a staph infection, the Indianapolis Star reported Friday. University of North Carolina-Asheville fans also recently learned that Kenny George, the 7-foot-7 center on the basketball team, had a staph infection complication that led to part of his foot being amputated.

Picture from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ihp/216070044/in/photostream/