Superbugs are a constant threat to hospitals across the UK – but one has been tamed by staff in Birmingham.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital struggled for 18 months to keep the Acinetobacter baumannii bug from infecting its patients.
But, in a story told to the BBC, the bug was eradicated after the closure of an operating theatre, which was then decontaminated with hydrogen peroxide.
This nasty bug could latch onto almost anything, according to Prof Laura Piddock.
“It’s particularly known for the fact it’s so difficult to get rid of. It can live on surfaces like a table or a bed and so it just had this predilection for surviving in a hospital environment where antibiotics are being splashed around,” said Piddock.
“If you give antibiotics, you select for antibiotic resistant organisms, the sensitive ones die off and the ones left standing take over and multiply.”
An increasing danger
And bugs exactly like this are becoming increasingly dangerous – globally, they are implicated in the deaths of 700,000 people every year.
While the Queen Elizabeth Hospital has managed to take care of their infection, they know that it could return at any time – unless they keep their hygiene up to snuff.
Our experts understand that it takes hard work to stamp out the bane of superbugs from our hospitals. That’s why we’re committed to providing the best in healthcare waste collection and disposal services to help bacteria be gone.