ananyo writes "A superbug outbreak that plagued a special-care neonatal unit in Cambridge, UK, for several months last year was brought to an end by insights gained from genome sequencing. The case, reported in Lancet Infectious Disease (abstract), marks the first time that scientists have sequenced pathogen genomes to actively control an ongoing outbreak.
Sharon Peacock, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Cambridge, and her team became involved in the outbreak after three infants at nearby Rosie Hospital’s 24-cot special-care baby unit tested positive for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within a couple days of each other.
The ward was sterilized but another baby tested positive for MRSA just days later. Confronted with an ongoing outbreak, the researchers cast their net wider, searching for the outbreak strain among the 154 workers on the baby unit. One tested positive for a matching MRSA strain, despite showing no symptoms. The employee was 'decolonized' by extensive washing with topical antibiotics and the outbreak stopped."
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