Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a group of lactic acid-producing bacteria commonly found on the surface of the skin. When it penetrates a break in the surface, it induces an immune response that involves hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide. For example, when it reaches the gut, it induces what is clinically referred to as enterocolitis, or infection of the digestive tract (Suzuki, 1994). Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), just like other S. aureus strains avoids such immune response through catalase, which efficiently breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.

This activity of the catalase in the escape of the host’s immune reaction has been shown in a murine animal model (Das and Bishayi, 2009). What was not mentioned in the primary reference is that what is so distinct about MRSA is the fact that the bacteria cannot be killed by the most common antibiotics, penicillin and cephalosporin groups, characterized by their beta-lactam ring. Briefly, these antibiotics prevent the production of the bacteria’s peptidoglycan-rich cell wall by inhibiting transpeptidation.

MRSA contains beta-lactamases that bind to beta-lactams, and render these bactericides inactive (Agrawal, n. d. ). Effectiveness of alkaline solution against MRSA infection It has been proposed by Shannon Brown (2010), in his article, “End of MRSA-How? ”, prevention of MRSA infection simply involves avoiding acidic food products and stress, which increases the acid in the digestive tract. According to Brown, the acidic environment allows the normal flora of the gut to die and the acidophilic MRSA to thrive.

The solution to a potential MRSA infection is said to lie on increasing the pH of the environment to which it is exposed to. Despite the seemingly simple solution to the problem of MRSA infection, prevention still poses a great challenge as the current food products available in the market are cultivated using acidic fertilizers and pesticides. Many people also enjoy drinking coffee, tea, wine and alcohol, all of which make the gut more acidic. As such, the article suggests that alkaline solutions can prevent uncontrolled MRSA growth in the body.

Specifically, taking in pHenomenal, an alkaline water concentrate, as food supplement is said to potentially increase the pH of the digestive tract, and to subsequently prevent MRSA infection. Such activity has been shown through an in vitro pH neutralization test, whereby lactic acid was neutralized by pHenomenal at approximately 1:22 acid-to-pHenomenal ratio. Another alkaline product suggested to prevent MRSA infection is B-pHree, which can be applied on the skin, where MRSA normally resides.

In an antibacterial efficacy assay done on this substance, it was found that it effectively inhibited the growth (100% growth reduction) of Staphylococcus aureus inoculated in Tryptic Soy Agar (TSA) incubated for 24 hours. Despite the promise of MRSA prevention and the availability of prophylactic measures, there are potential problems regarding the claims of preventing bacterial infection by increasing the pH in the gut. Literature review Normally, the stomach is highly acidic, with pH of approximately 2.

This acidity is a strategy to control the activity of pepsin, which catalyzes the breakdown of proteins into organic compounds that can be used by the body in its various physiologic processes. In addition, the highly acidic environment of the stomach prevents the growth of most pathogens that cannot thrive in such extreme conditions. In fact, it has been shown by Suzuki (1994) that the low pH of gastric pH is directly related to decreased amounts of pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus and MRSA in the gut.

In addition, it was found that cancer patients before and after operation, who have high levels of gastric pH are more likely to have Staphylococcus and MRSA in the gut. Although the in vitro experiments have both supported the effectiveness of alkaline solutions in inhibiting MRSA growth, those assays deal with controlled environments that are entirely different to the environment present in the gastrointestinal tract. Medical professionals thus suggest that non-beta-lactamase antibiotics such as clindamycin are still the most effective means of treating MRSA infections.

As for preventing diseases with MRSA as etiology, proper sanitation, hand-washing, avoiding direct contact with cuts and abrasions, as well as avoiding risky behaviour have all been suggested to minimize the spread of pathogens such as MRSA (Mayo Clinic staff, 2010). These, like drinking alkaline supplements and applying alkaline solution, are simple. However, unlike the prophylaxis suggested in the article by Brown (2010), these ways have been proved effective.

References Agrawal, A. (n. d. ). MRSA: A Review of Resistance and Therapy. www. bmc. edu/medpeds/presentations/MRSA. pps Brown, S.(2010). End of MRSA-How?. Retrieved from: www. mrsa30day. com Das, D. & Bishayi, B (2009). Staphylococcal catalase protects intracellularly survived bacteria by destroying H2O2 produced by the murine peritoneal macrophages.

Microb. Pathog. , 47(2), 57-67. Mayo Clinic staff. (2010, May 29). MRSA Infection. Retrieved from: http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/mrsa/DS00735/DSECTION=risk-factors Suzuki, S. (1994). Studies on the relationship between gastric acidity and the development of MRSA, especially for the prevention of MRSA enterocolitis. Nihon Ika Daigaku Zasshi, 61(6), 563-571.

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Abstract: The article starts with a brief introduction to MRSA along with description of Staphylococcus aureus. Next the article describes in brief various causes, risks, symptoms and diagnosis for MRSA infection and preventive care. WE WILL WRITE A CUSTOM ESSAY …

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