New MRSA strain found in cows milk

A new strain of the deadly ‘superbug’ MRSA has been found in the milk of British cows.

Researchers from Cambridge University who discovered the new strain said they believe that the antibiotic-resistant bacterium is already infecting humans.

Writing in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal, the researchers speculate the development of the new superbug is a result of the frequent use of antibiotics by cattle farmers, something which is exacerbated by financial pressures.

Lead researcher Dr Mark Holmes told a press conference: “When you drive your cows hard, you end up with more mastitis.

“You end up using more antibiotics, and the bacteria that are susceptible to it will die, and the bacteria that are resistant to it will live.”

However, it is not thought there is any increased risk from consuming dairy products, as the pasteurisation process kills all forms of MRSA.

MRSA is usually found in hospitals and was linked to 1,593 deaths in 2007.

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