Monday, May 16, 2011

Bed Bugs as Carriers of Disease

A report in the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases* this month reports that bedbugs carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a bacterium resistant to many common antibiotics were found on patients in a Vancouver hospital. Also, on two patients, they found bedbugs with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, or VRE, another bacterium resistant to common antibiotics.

This result raises the possibility that bed bugs can carry and transmit disease, something that has never been shown previously. While this result does not demonstrate that the bed bugs transmitted disease during their blood feeds it shows that there is the possibility. This result will, no doubt, spark further investigations around the world.

Should this result be confirmed and the transmission of disease by bed bugs during taking blood feeds from people and animals demonstrated, this will have great implications for the control of bed bugs around the world.

As I have previously blogged, there has been a resurgence of bed bugs around the world and in New Zealand. The combination of this resurgence and evidence that bed bugs transmit disease would be most concerning. It would make the control and eradication of bed bugs not just a matter of preventing nuisance and itchy bites but a matter of preventing serious disease and illness.

*The Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases is a journal of the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC).

A bed bug walks into the tearoom and says "Is it chai?"

3 comments:

  1. This is a problem that effects a lot of people from all walks of life, bugs, all bugs can invade someones home and more or less take over without intervention.
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  3. They are responsible for allergists to many peoples body. You have described other facts related with some dangerous diseases very clearly. Thanks for you nice work.

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