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      Misdiagnosis of Spider Bites: Bacterial Associates, Mechanical Pathogen Transfer, and Hemolytic Potential of Venom From the Hobo Spider, Tegenaria agrestis (Araneae: Agelenidae)

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      Journal of Medical Entomology

      Entomological Society of America

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          Abstract

          The European spider Tegenaria agrestis (Walckenaer) (hobo spider) has been implicated as a spider of medical importance in the Pacific Northwest since its introduction in the late 1980s. Studies have indicated that the hobo spider causes necrotic tissue lesions through hemolytic venom or through the transfer of pathogenic bacteria introduced by its bite. Bacterial infections are often diagnosed as spider bites, in particular the pathogenic bacteria methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This study examines three aspects of the potential medical importance of hobo spiders in part of its introduced range, Washington State. First, the bacterial diversity of the spider was surveyed using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay to determine whether the spider carries any pathogenic bacteria. Second, an experiment was conducted to determine the ability of the spiders to transfer MRSA. Third, the venom was evaluated to assess the hemolytic activity. We found 10 genera of ubiquitous bacteria on the exterior surface of the spiders. In addition, none of the spiders exposed to MRSA transferred this pathogen. Finally, the hemolytic venom assay corroborates previous studies that found hobo spider venom was not deleterious to vertebrate red blood cells.

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          Invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in the United States.

          As the epidemiology of infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) changes, accurate information on the scope and magnitude of MRSA infections in the US population is needed. To describe the incidence and distribution of invasive MRSA disease in 9 US communities and to estimate the burden of invasive MRSA infections in the United States in 2005. Active, population-based surveillance for invasive MRSA in 9 sites participating in the Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs)/Emerging Infections Program Network from July 2004 through December 2005. Reports of MRSA were investigated and classified as either health care-associated (either hospital-onset or community-onset) or community-associated (patients without established health care risk factors for MRSA). Incidence rates and estimated number of invasive MRSA infections and in-hospital deaths among patients with MRSA in the United States in 2005; interval estimates of incidence excluding 1 site that appeared to be an outlier with the highest incidence; molecular characterization of infecting strains. There were 8987 observed cases of invasive MRSA reported during the surveillance period. Most MRSA infections were health care-associated: 5250 (58.4%) were community-onset infections, 2389 (26.6%) were hospital-onset infections; 1234 (13.7%) were community-associated infections, and 114 (1.3%) could not be classified. In 2005, the standardized incidence rate of invasive MRSA was 31.8 per 100,000 (interval estimate, 24.4-35.2). Incidence rates were highest among persons 65 years and older (127.7 per 100,000; interval estimate, 92.6-156.9), blacks (66.5 per 100,000; interval estimate, 43.5-63.1), and males (37.5 per 100,000; interval estimate, 26.8-39.5). There were 1598 in-hospital deaths among patients with MRSA infection during the surveillance period. In 2005, the standardized mortality rate was 6.3 per 100,000 (interval estimate, 3.3-7.5). Molecular testing identified strains historically associated with community-associated disease outbreaks recovered from cultures in both hospital-onset and community-onset health care-associated infections in all surveillance areas. Invasive MRSA infection affects certain populations disproportionately. It is a major public health problem primarily related to health care but no longer confined to intensive care units, acute care hospitals, or any health care institution.
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            Methicillin-resistant S. aureus infections among patients in the emergency department.

            Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasingly recognized in infections among persons in the community without established risk factors for MRSA. We enrolled adult patients with acute, purulent skin and soft-tissue infections presenting to 11 university-affiliated emergency departments during the month of August 2004. Cultures were obtained, and clinical information was collected. Available S. aureus isolates were characterized by antimicrobial-susceptibility testing, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and detection of toxin genes. On MRSA isolates, we performed typing of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), the genetic element that carries the mecA gene encoding methicillin resistance. S. aureus was isolated from 320 of 422 patients with skin and soft-tissue infections (76 percent). The prevalence of MRSA was 59 percent overall and ranged from 15 to 74 percent. Pulsed-field type USA300 isolates accounted for 97 percent of MRSA isolates; 74 percent of these were a single strain (USA300-0114). SCCmec type IV and the Panton-Valentine leukocidin toxin gene were detected in 98 percent of MRSA isolates. Other toxin genes were detected rarely. Among the MRSA isolates, 95 percent were susceptible to clindamycin, 6 percent to erythromycin, 60 percent to fluoroquinolones, 100 percent to rifampin and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and 92 percent to tetracycline. Antibiotic therapy was not concordant with the results of susceptibility testing in 100 of 175 patients with MRSA infection who received antibiotics (57 percent). Among methicillin-susceptible S. aureus isolates, 31 percent were USA300 and 42 percent contained pvl genes. MRSA is the most common identifiable cause of skin and soft-tissue infections among patients presenting to emergency departments in 11 U.S. cities. When antimicrobial therapy is indicated for the treatment of skin and soft-tissue infections, clinicians should consider obtaining cultures and modifying empirical therapy to provide MRSA coverage. Copyright 2006 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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              Skin microbiota: a source of disease or defence?

              Microbes found on the skin are usually regarded as pathogens, potential pathogens or innocuous symbiotic organisms. Advances in microbiology and immunology are revising our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of microbial virulence and the specific events involved in the host-microbe interaction. Current data contradict some historical classifications of cutaneous microbiota and suggest that these organisms may protect the host, defining them not as simple symbiotic microbes but rather as mutualistic. This review will summarize current information on bacterial skin flora including Staphylococcus, Corynebacterium, Propionibacterium, Streptococcus and Pseudomonas. Specifically, the review will discuss our current understanding of the cutaneous microbiota as well as shifting paradigms in the interpretation of the roles microbes play in skin health and disease.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Medical Entomology
                jnl. med. entom.
                Entomological Society of America
                00222585
                00222585
                March 01 2011
                March 01 2011
                : 48
                : 2
                : 382-388
                Article
                10.1603/ME09224
                21485377
                © 2011

                Molecular medicine, Neurosciences

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