Researchers Pinpoint Best Treatment to Reduce Deadly USA300, MRSA Staph Infections
CORVALLIS, Ore., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a recent College
of Pharmacy study at Oregon State University, one type of over-the-counter
product for minor wound care is substantially more effective than others in
killing MRSA, including the virulent strain USA300. Scientists conducting
the study compared three common over-the-counter wound care treatments for
effectiveness against four strains of community acquired MRSA. Breaks in
the skin, such as cuts and scrapes, are the most common entry point for the
highly aggressive staph bacteria.
The new laboratory study showed that standard OTC antibacterial
products are helpful for preventing common infections but only one product,
Staphaseptic, made by Tec Laboratories, was effective in killing MRSA and
the USA300 strain. The ointment-like gel, made with Benzethonium chloride,
tea tree oil and white thyme oil, killed MRSA quicker and more effectively
than the other compounds tested and had a sustained killing effect for 24
"We wanted to try these common OTC wound-treating products to see if
they would kill a wide range of MRSA strains since MRSA has mutated
significantly into more than one strain," said Oregon State's Dr. J. Mark
Christensen, one of the authors of the study.
According to information from OSU, scientists there found that each of
the products tested had some effectiveness, but only the Staphaseptic
product had a genuine "bactericidal" effect -- meaning it reduced the
number of bacteria by a factor of 1,000 -- against all four of the tested
MRSA strains. The four strains tested were USA300-1, USA300-2, USA300-3,
Also included in the testing were products made with neomycin and
polymyxin; and another made with polymyxin and gramicidin. All three of the
compounds used in the tests are widely available over the counter at
national drug store chains. Staphaseptic is relatively new, while the other
two are commonly found, with slight variations, in "maximum strength" or
"triple antibiotic" compounds routinely sold in drug stores.
The USA300 strain of MRSA was put in the spotlight recently in a study
published online by The Annals of Internal Medicine. Results showed that at
one Boston area health clinic monitored in the study, 97% of patients
infected with MRSA had the USA300 strain. The AIM study was led by Dr. Binh
Diep who stressed the urgent need for prevention of these potentially
"Once this reaches the general population, it will be truly
unstoppable," said Diep. "That's why we're trying to spread the message of
Researchers conducting the Oregon State University study also focused
on prevention by testing products that are commonly used to prevent various
infections in cuts and scrapes, rather than testing more expensive
prescription antibiotics that attempt to kill the superbug after a severe
infection takes hold.
The study was recently presented at a meeting of the American Society
of Health-System Pharmacists by Dr. David Bearden, a specialist in
infectious diseases and an author of the study. Dr. George P. Allen joined
Bearden and Christensen as the third author.
"Staphaseptic remained bactericidal for 24 hours, which surprised me,"
said Christensen. "Usually you see an initial kill, which is followed by
the bacteria growing again. But Staphaseptic blunted this regrowth and
suppressed the bacteria, showing killing for up to 24 hours."
According to Bearden, USA300 is being passionately studied for a
reason. "USA300 has become the predominant strain in severe
community-acquired skin infections. The strain is more virulent and infects
individuals who are otherwise healthy, something that earlier hospital
strains of MRSA did not."
A copy of the original OSU Time Kill study can be viewed by following
this link http://www.teclabsinc.com/press_docs/MRSA_Study.pdf
SOURCE Tec Laboratories, Inc.