Copper hope in battle with MRSA

15 Apr 2013

Hospitals' efforts in combating the MRSA superbug could be helped by the use of more equipment made of copper and brass, according to new research.

Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina say using objects made of the metals in intensive care units (ICUs) could cut instances of infections such as MRSA by more than 50%.

MRSA infection mainly occurs in people who are already ill in hospital. It can be difficult to treat as the bacteria are resistant to most types of antibiotics.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus can be found on hospital equipment, which means they can spread between patients, but microbes on the surface of copper and brass are killed.

The findings of the study, due to be made public in the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology journal next month, show that the number of healthcare-acquired infections fell by more than half in three hospitals in the US that make use of equipment made of copper in their ICU rooms.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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