This Drug-Resistant Bacteria Could Be Hiding in Your Armpits Right Now

This Drug-Resistant Bacteria Could Be Hiding in Your Armpits Right Now

Staphylococcus or, as it’s more widely known,
staph, is one of the most common bacteria found on humans around the world. In some
cases, it can pose a real threat to your body’s immune system – even proving lethal.
So, if it’s so widespread, why aren’t we all getting infected? – Hi, my name is Vance Fowler. I’m an infectious
disease doctor in the division of infectious diseases at Duke University Medical Center.
For the last twenty years or so, I’ve focused on the clinical care, and the research
around drug-resistant bacteria, and staph aureus in particular. Staphylococcus is a bacteria that lives on
our skin. And about 40% of people on the planet carry it on their body but are asymptomatic.
So almost half of us are walking around unaware that we’re carriers of staph. And usually that’s just fine. – There are many different kinds of staph,
but the one that causes the greatest amount of problems in human medicine is a bacteria
called staphylococcus aureus. This is generally the bacteria that people are referring to
when they talk about a staph infection. Staph aureus can be colonized in the nose,
armpits, genital areas, and other parts of the skin. And this colonization can go on
for years, with the patient being totally asymptomatic throughout much of their lives. – Sometimes, for reasons that we really don’t
completely understand yet, this staph will change from being a bystander to being trouble. And when it makes that change, that trouble
becomes an infection in your skin or soft tissues. How this usually happens is with
a break in the skin, allowing the infection to enter the body and the bloodstream. – And once you get staph in your blood, or
staph aureus bacteremia, then things get a lot more serious. The reason it gets serious
is because now it has access to infect and cause an infection
in virtually any site in the body. For example, it can cause pneumonia and
involve the lungs. It can cause infections in your bone, called osteomyelitis, and it
can cause joint infections, cause arthritis, and it can cause infections of your heart,
cause endocarditis. And this is what makes it unique in the bacterial
world – its ability to cause a wide range of medical concerns. This is because staph
aureus has what are called virulence factors, or things that allow it to cause infection. – Basically, though, all of its virulence factors fall into one
of two categories. They’re either adhesions, which are proteins that allow the bacteria
to stick to things that it doesn’t need to stick to, like heart valves, spines, bone…
or toxins, which, generally speaking, are involved in causing local damage to cells
and tissue. So it will cause cell rupture, cause tissue to break down and die. With the help of these virulence factors,
the bacteria can turn lethal once it gets into the bloodstream. – So wow, I know that sounds scary, and it
is pretty serious. How do you know you have a staph infection? The key thing about
a staph infection is you’re going to have symptoms in the site that’s involved. Because staph mostly impacts the soft tissue,
infections can look like a boil or abscess that’s red, hot, swollen or seeping. Fortunately,
these can mostly be treated with antibiotics. – Some of the other forms of infection may
be a little more subtle, and they may require diagnosis in the hospital or in the emergency
room. If you get staph in your bloodstream, really the hallmark finding is fever and chills. There’s another type of staph that is even
more alarming: MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. It’s a concern not
just because of its resistance to antibiotics, but also because it’s showing signs
of spreading into new territory. – The epidemiology of MRSA has also changed
over the years. Traditionally it was associated almost exclusively with patients who had been
in the hospital, or patients who had ongoing contact with the medical system, for example,
long-term care facilities, hemodialysis patients, things like that. But about fifteen years ago, something happened.
People with absolutely no contact with the health care system began to develop boils and
abscesses due to a MRSA infection. – Not only was this happening in the United
States, but throughout other parts of the world, other communities were experiencing
basically the same phenomenon of community-acquired MRSA infections. So, why in the world did this happen?
Well, that’sa great question and honestly I wish I could tell ya. It’s probably like most things,
a variety of several factors, but obviously critical amongst that has got to be
the overuse of antibiotics. And while there’s no commercially available
vaccine for staph aureus, there is some encouraging progress with medical advances. – One of the key elements that we’re just
beginning to understand is the role of the host in causing and perpetuating
staph infections. The interplay between the bacteria
and the host immunity is complex. Ultimately, because staph aureus is so common,
there are three main takeaways. These are: prevention – washing your hands
at home and in medical environments; recognizing the symptoms early: boils,
abscesses, and anything red or swollen; and seeing your healthcare provider
as soon as you see signs or feel ill. – We understand now that there are things
that we can do to help patients in the hospital have a dramatically lower rate
of developing staph infections. So for example, daily chlorhexidine baths
when they’re in the Intensive Care Units. While there have been setbacks in terms of
new epidemiology, new outbreaks, the opioid crisis… there’s a lot of reason to have
a good deal of optimism as well, in terms of new drugs and better understanding.


  1. Staph and food poisoning,,,If prepare food for others,,,neighbour or work in food industry,,,pls follow kitchen hygiene protocol thoroughly,,wash hand,,cover sneeze phlegm,,clean counter surface,,,clean cutlery properly no debris left as bacteria breeds,,

    flies carry bad things on their legs,,, you probably heard of fly lands on food and eats from it throw it away!! It is sad,,, but more wasteful if you fall ill,,, so cover your food don't leave it exposed,,,

    Staph in food a severe thing weakens health,,, restaurants have been sued,,,,sorry not much can be done with dodgy food from a neighbour who practice bad hygiene,,,

    Staph and hospital setting,,,, If you see health care professional always request that they wash their hands as don't always or forget or too busy,,,don't be shy,,, it's your health,,, those 15/20sec washing hands makes difference,,,

    If you're public pls wash hand properly after using bathroom…..many don't and you're compromising other people with weak health,,,there are studies to back this up,,,,

    wearing gloves isn't enough,,,
    hospital and doctors surgery in general full of infectious microbes,,, easy to pass around,,,,mrsa is no longer found within hospitals,,,, found in communities,,,, on skin of nurses doctors general public,,, like video said,,,can struck person down once immune low,,,,

    Hospital and doctor surgeries are infectious environment,,,
    Plenty studies on hospital screening curtain with infectious matters on them,,, curtains rarely washed if ever,,, doctors and nurses touch it then touch you,,,management need to sort this

    Staph and general public,,, important to keep good hygiene as not enough hygiene contrary to some beliefs,,,lack of emphasis and carelessness,,,, all about reducing risks,,, wash hand after using bathroom everytime,,, please,,, don't bother using hand dryer,,,,

    Cut out outdoor shoes indoors so lessening risk,,,common sense logical,,, also scientific research back this,,, all kind of antibiotics resistance microbes found on outdoor shoes,,,, if you still insist then pls avoid putting outdoor shoes on your sofa and bed and stepping on clothes,,,

    yes good bad germs everywhere,,,, the issue here is carelessness,,, overuse of antibiotics for increase number of infections,,, lack of hygiene protocol,,, we live in dense over populated towns using public transport and visits to hospitals and doctors surgery common norm,,,

    Wiping phone down daily should hold importance like brushing teeth and washing hand after using toilet ,,,
    smartphone has more infectious matters toilet seat and keyboard and you then eat chips or touch face,,,,

    No loss to all when we improve better standard of hygiene,,,
    healthy nutritional intake very important very very important,,,

    sustainable,,, ethical,,, organic,,, with no antibiotics,,,no cancer causing pesticide herbicide spray,,,

    go for local meat and egg but limit intake,,, don't eat too much of it,,, makes digestive system harder to work,,,

    Eat various colourful vegetation,,, fruit,,, nuts,,, seeds,,, grains,,,rest,,, family time,,, gratitude,,,

    Monoculture ie agriculture very very bad,,, pls read on this matter,,,

    Cut down on sugar,,,it feeds microbes,,, weakens immune system,,, makes you feel sick,,, and takes longer to recover if you do fall ill,,, eat a fruit if you have sweet crave,,, eat carrots to decrease sweet cravings,,,

    Slowly cut out one rubbish nutrition void food at a time,,, its possible and can be done,,, you won't regret having respect for body and health,,,

    If you feel feverish or ill waiting for appointment or culture swab result,,, add immune building food to diet,,, infection fighting food to diet,,,garlic,,,ginger,,, turmeric,,,oregano,,,coriander,,, parsley,,,green vegetables,,,citrus, vit C food,,, zinc food,,,, biotin food,,, magnesium food,,,

    When prescribed clorhexidine,, dermol,, ointment for nose,, before starting course,,, check that you don't have dry skin eczema psoriasis,,,, dry skin makes treatment less effective,,,don't leave clorhex wash for too long as can lead to further dermal conditions,,, but don't rinse off to quickly,,,, apply to skin for few minutes nothing else so it does job properly,,,

    So combat dry skin issue first,,,,prevent dry skin complications,,,, internally by eating omega and selenium and zinc rich food not just from fish,,,

    externally by applying simple body oils jojoba oil,,, castor oil,,, rosehip oil,,, almond oil,,, oatmilk,,, aloevera
    If using market products,,, go for body product with least parabens and unnecessary toxic chemicals

  2. I actually currently have a staph infection in my finger. I couldn’t even move it for the first 2 days but now I have most of the mobility back.

  3. If we would have continued the bacteriophage treatment and research since the early nineteen hundreds we might not have to worried about these new super bugs… I believe phages will help us win these new medical battles

  4. I know you have a few videos on doctors but could you guys do a video about why US citizens don't go to the hospital until it's too late and the effect it has on the general populations' health overall?

  5. lol people walk out of the hospital all the time… like if u let them out ofcourse someone went out and carried out the mrsa with him undiagnozed and spread it. has nothing to do with antibiotics . its how fucken diseases always spread….

  6. I literally just got MRSA from my locker room and I got 9 surgeries. Luckily the chemical therapies cured me and got rid of all the MRSA bacteria

  7. I have plenty super duper resistant bacteria in my organism, I know that much after dealing with colds every year and secondary bacterial infections. One day they will eat me alive

  8. FDA advises against the use of chlorhexidine now doesn't it? Says it causes bacteria to mutate into more dangerous strains doesn't it? All disease causing germs are likely mutated survivors, a product of improperly cooking food perhaps. The survivors suffer DNA damage from heat and become mutated and dangerous.

  9. And the worst of all is that we can create new antibiotics more quickly than we do now, but they aren’t because it’s more profitable to invest in other medicines.

  10. It's a chain effect. The curtains in the emergency Ward are covered. They should be plastic or they should be washed in a regular basis or otherwise everyone gets MRSA because somebody knows somebody that was in the hospital. Just poor management in my opinion. Carry on. Blessings in Christ Jesus name.

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