Tag Archives: Staphylococcus aureus

Meyna spinosa Roxb.

Botanical Name: Meyna spinosa Roxb.
Family:    Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe:    Vanguerieae
Genus:    Meyna
KingdomPlantae
Clade:    Angiosperms
Clade:    Eudicots
Clade:    Asterids
Order:    Gentianales

Synonyms : Vangueria spinosa  (Roxb. ex Link) Roxb.; Vangueria spinosa var. mollis Hook. f.; Pyrostria spinosa (Roxb. ex Link) Miq.; Vangueria miqueliana Kurz ; Vangueria mollis Wall.; Vangueria stellata Blanco.

Common names: Mainakanta, Madan, Maniphal

Vernacular names in other Languages :

Bengali : Mainakanta, Maniphal, Madan | Sanskrit : Pinditaka | Hindi : Maniphal, Pundrika | Tribal : Serali | English : Voavanga | Other Languages : Manakkarai (Tam.) ; Cegagadda (Tel.) ; Moltakanta (Ori.)

Habitat :Mainakanta is native to tropical Asia & Africa.It grows in hot and humid climate with a slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.3-7.3) soil condition.

Description:
Meyna spinosa Roxb  is a thorny bushy shrub. The plant has straight, sharp spines and whorled green leaves arranged in opposite manner. Flowering season starts in late spring and lasts until early summer. It is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and also found in the plain lands of Java and Myanmar. In Bangladesh it is known as ‘Moyna’. Fruits of M. spinosa are reported to contain sugar, gum and tannic acid whereas the seeds contain esters of palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids.

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Medicinal Uses:

Chemical constituents: The present study was undertaken to investigate the antibacterial and cytotoxic activity of the ethanol extract of Meyna spinosa stem. Antibacterial activity was investigated against Staphylococcus aureus. Streptococcus pyogenes, Escherichia coli and Shigella dysenieriae by disc diffusion and broth macrodilution assay. In disk diffusion assay, the extract inhibited all the microorganisms except E. coli. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the extract was 1000 μg/ml for S. aureus, S. pyogenes and E. coli, whereas 500 μg/mLfor S. dysenieriae. For cytotoxicity test, the extract was subjected to brine shrimp lethality bioassay. The LD50 of M. spinosa stem extract was found to be 40 μg/mL. Findings of the study justify the use of the plant in traditional medicine and suggests for further investigation.

Meyna spinosa Roxb., a medicinal plant enjoys it use in the traditional medicine in Bangladesh for the treatment of a number of ailments. Fruits are used in the treatment of fever, inflammation, biliary complaints and hepatic congestion. Leaves are used in bone fracture and in the treatment of diphtheria. The plant is also reported to be used traditionally in the treatment of skin irritation abortion and renal diseases .

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/83173978/antibacterial-cytotoxic-activity-meyna-spinosa-roxb-stem
http://thai-shopping-mall.com/muyna-meyna-spinosa-5-seeds-p-1375.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyna
http://thinkinglaymen.org.in/plant_details.php?id=568a

Aristolochia contorta

 

Botanical Name : Aristolochia contorta
Family: Aristolochiaceae
Subfamily: Aristolochioideae
Genus: Aristolochia
Species : Aristolochia contorta
Order: Piperales

Synonyms : A. nipponica.

Common Name: Ma Dou Ling

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, Manchuria. .-Aug. Grows in edges of mountain woods.

Description:
Aristolochia contorta is a  perennial  herb, growing to 1.5 m (5ft). It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies.

…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The shrub  has  stout elongated rhizomes. Stem slender, glabrous. Leaves alternate, cordate or broadly ovate-cordate, 4-10 cm long, 3.5-8 cm wide, acute or obtuse at tip, cordate at base, entire, petioles 1-7 cm long.(CLICK & SEE) Peduncles axillary, 1-4 cm long, with prominent bracts at base. Flowers few in axils, fascicled, the pedicels 1-4 cm long; the calyx tubular, inflated and globose at base, loosely pilose inside; the limb dilated, obliquely truncate, narrowly deltoid, long-acuminate to a filiform point; stamens 6, ovary inferior. Fruit a capsule,globose, 3 cm in diameter, 6 valved. Jul.-Aug……...CLICK & SEE

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil.

Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a well-drained loamy soil, rich in organic matter, in sun or semi-shade. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil. Most species in this genus have malodorous flowers that are pollinated by flies.

Propagation
Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. Pre-soak stored seed for 48 hours in hand-hot water and surface sow in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 3 months at 20°c. Stored seed germinates better if it is given 3 months cold stratification at 5°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer after the last expected frosts. Division in autumn. Root cuttings in winter.

Edible Uses :
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Medicinal Uses;
Antiasthmatic;  Antiseptic;  Antitussive;  Cancer;  Expectorant;  Sedative.

The fruit and its capsule are antiasthmatic, antiseptic, antitussive and expectorant. A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of cancer, coughs, inflammation of the respiratory organs, haemorrhoids and hypertension. It is also used to resolve phlegm and lower blood pressure. It has an antibacterial action, effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, bacillus dysentericae etc. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use. The root is used as a purgative in the treatment of rabies and also has sedative properties.

A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment of cancer, coughs, inflammation of the respiratory organs, hemorrhoids and hypertension. It is also used to resolve phlegm and lower blood pressure. It has an antibacterial action, effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Pneumococci, bacillus dysentericae etc. The root contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can also be used in the treatment of acute and serious infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be too toxic for clinical use. The root is used as a purgative in the treatment of rabies and also has sedative properties.

Known Hazards:  No specific details for this species is found but most members of this genus have poisonous roots and stems. The plant contains aristolochic acid, this has received rather mixed reports on its toxicity. According to one report aristolochic acid stimulates white blood cell activity and speeds the healing of wounds, but is also carcinogenic and damaging to the kidneys. Another report says that it is an active antitumour agent but is too toxic for clinical use. Another report says that aristolochic acid has anti-cancer properties and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and that it also increases the cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the phagocytic cells.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Aristolochia+contorta
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia_contorta
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_LMN.htm

http://www.wpro.who.int/internet/files/pub/97/33.pdf

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Erythrina variegata

Botanical Name :Erythrina variegata
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Erythrina
Species: E. variegata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Scientific names:
Erythrina variegata Linn. var. orientalis (Linn.)
Erythrina corallodendron Linn. Bagbag (Ilk.)
Tetradapa javanorum Osbeck
Erythrina indica Linn.
Erythrina carnea Blanco

Common Names:Indian Coral Tree.,Andorogat (Bik.),Merr. Andorogat (Bik.),Bagbok (Ibn.),Dapdap (Tag., Pamp., Bik., Bis.), Dubdub (Ilk.) ,Kabrab (Bik.) ,Karapdap (Tag.) ,Kasindak (Tag.) ,Sabang (Bon.) ,Sulbang (Pamp.) ,Vuvak (Ibn.) , Tiger’s claw (Engl.) ,Indian coral tree (Engl.) ,Hai tong pi (Chin.)

It is known as the Roluos Tree in Cambodia, deigo on Okinawa, drala on Fiji, madar in Bangladesh, Modar in Assam, man da ra ba in Tibet, as thong lang in Thailand and as vông nem in Vietnam.

Habitat :Erythrina variegata is   native to the tropical and subtropical regions of eastern Africa, southern Asia, northern Australia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean east to Fiji.

Along the seashore and frequently planted inland hroughout the Philippines.
– Occurs in India to Polynesia.

Description:
Dapdap is a deciduous tree reaching a height of 15 meters, the branches and the branchlets stout and armed with short, few to many sharp prickles. Leaflets are broadly ovate and 8 to 18 centimeters long, with pointed tip and broad base. Racemes are terminal, hairy, dense, and up to 2.5 centimeters long. Flowers are papillonaceous, large and numerous. Calyx is about 4 centimeters long and minutely 5-toothed at the tip, the mouth being very oblique. Petals are bright red and shorter than the calyx, the standard being 7 to 9 centimeters long and the wings and keels subequal. Stamens are 10, upper filaments free nearly to the base or more or less connate with others. Ovary many-ovuled, style incurved. Racemes terminal, hairy, dense and up to 2.5 cm long. Fruits are pods, 10 to 25 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2 centimeters in diameter, and distinctly constricted between the seeds.

CLICK TO SEE THE PICTURES.…..(01)......(1).……..(2).………...(3)……..(4)

Constituents
• Seeds yield an alkaloid, a fatty oil, and a saponaceous glucoside.
• The alkaloid has properties identical to hypaphorine.
• Leaves and bark yield an a poisonous alkaloid, erythrinine, which acts on the nervous system with effects similar to the alkaloid cytisine.
• Bark, leaves and seeds yield saponin.
• Hydrocyanic acide is found in the leaves, stems, roots, and fruit.
Phytochemical screening yielded eight spiromaine alkaloids and 3 carboxylated indole-3-alkylamines.
• Dried bark yields erythraline, hypaphorine, amino acids, organic acides, erythrinin, erybidin and saponins.

Properties:
• Prepared drug tastes bitter, neutral in effect.
• The bark is bitter, acrid, thermogenic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, carminative, digestive, anthelminthic, rejuvenating, laxative, diuretic and expectorant.
• The leaves are bitter, diuretic, laxative, emmenagogue, stomachic and anthelmintic.
• Erythrina has a narcotic and depressant action on the central nervous system.

Medicinal Uses:
Part utilized:
Bark and leaves.
Remove spines from bark after collection, rinse, sun-dry.

Folkloric :
• In the Philippines, a sweetened decoction of bark and leaves used as expectorant. Bark also used to facilitate the maturation of boils.
• Leaves and roots used as febrifuge.
• Decoction of leaves used for coughs and asthma.
• Dried bark decoction or infusion in alcohol used for lumbar and leg pain.
• In the Malay Peninsular, bark used for curing toothaches, rounded and pusjhed into the cavity or hollow tooth.
• In the Moluccas, bark chewed for dysentery.
• Pulverized leaves in the form of snuff used for Infantile convulsion and ascariasis.
• Wood rasped in water used for hematuria.
• Bark considered as antibilious and febrifuge.
• In the Peninsula and Indo-China, leaves used for poulticing sores.
• Seeds used internalluy and externally for cancer; externally for abscesses.
• In China, bark used as febrifuge and expectorant.
• In India and China, the bark and leaves are used in many traditional medicinal concoctions. Paribhadra, an Indian preparation, destroys parasites and relieves joint pains. Honeyed leaf juice is used for tapeworm and roundworm diseases. The juice also helps stimulate lactation and menstruation. A poultice of leaves is used for rheumatic join

Studies :-
• Antibacterial: Antibacterial activity of isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: 16 isoflavonoids isolated from Erythrina variegata was screened for antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staph aureus. Of the active compounds, erycristagallin and orientanol B showed the highest anti-MRSA activity.
• Antibacterial / Erycristagallin / Dental Caries Prevention: Study isolated compounds from EV with antibacterial property against cariogenic oral bacteria. Among them was erycristagallin, a potential phytochemical agent for the prevention of dental caries by inhibiting the growth of cariogenic bacteria.
• Anti-osteoporotic Effect: Study showed that E. variegata could suppress the high rate of bone turnover induced by estrogen deficiency and improve the biomechanical properties of bone in the lab rats.
• Alkaloids / Nervous System Effects: The study isolated eight spiroamine alkaloids and three carboxylated indole-3-alkylamines and showed characteristic pharmacological effects: (1) neuromuscular blocking, (2) smooth muscle relaxant, (3) CNS depressant, (4) hypocholeretic, and (5) anticonvulsant effects supporting the indigenous use of the plants.
• Trypsin / Proteinase Inhibitors: Study indicate that E. variegata proteinase inhibitors possess different potency toward serine proteinases in blood coagualation and fibrinolytic systems.
• Antimicrobial / Cytoxicity: Study isolated five compounds from the methanol extract of stem bark of EV: epilupeol, 6-hydroxygenistein, 3ß, 28-dihydroxyolean-12-ene, epilupeol, stigmasterol. Diiferent partitionates showed mild to moderate antimicrobial activity and varying degrees of cytotoxicity.
• Antioxidant / Smooth Muscle Inhibitory Activity: Three new and 14 known compounds were isolated from E variegata. The smooth muscle studies on crude extract and their fractions showed inhibitory response, possibly with involvement of both muscarinic and adrenergic receptors. Significant antioxidant activity and a CNS depressive effect were also noted.
• Lectin / Cytoxicity: Study isolated a human erythrocyte specific lectin from the seeds of E. variegata. The purified lectin was a glycoprotein which induced transformation of peripheral blood lymphocytes in cultures.
Anti-Cancer: Study of methanol extract of the root bark of EV in Swiss albino mice showed a protective effect against Dalton’s Ascitic Lymphoma (DAL) with evidence of a significant increase in life span, decrease in cancer cell number and tumour weight and normalization of hematologic parameters.
• Antioxidant / Hypolipidemic: Study showed the protective effect of seeds of EV on high fat induced hyperlipidemia with lowering of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and VLDL. The effect may be attributed to decrease cholesterol synthesis, increase cholesterol excretion and expression of LDL receptor and catabolism. The antioxidant effect may play a role in retarding or preventing cardiovascular complications secondary to hyperlipidemia.
• Hypoglycemic Effect: Study concluded that E. variegata demonstrated promising hypoglycemic action in stretozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
• Antibacterial / Mupirocin Synergism: Study isolated an isoflavone, bidwillon B which inhibited the growth of 12 MRSA strains at minimum inhibitory concentrations. Combined with mupirocin, synergistic effects were observed for 11 strains of MRSA. Both compounds act on MRSA via different mechanisms. Bidwillon B presents as a potent phytotherapeutic and/or combination agent with mupirocin in the elimination of nasal and skin carriage of MRSA.

Other Uses:

It is valued as an ornamental tree. Several cultivars have been selected, including ‘Alba’ with white flowers.

It was designated the official flower of Okinawa Prefecture in 1967. The deigo flower features in the popular song Shima Uta by The Boom, one of the most well-known songs associated with Okinawa. In addition, the use of the wood of the deigo tree is one of the unique characteristics of Ryukyuan lacquerware.

In Vietnam, the leaves are used to wrap fermented meat (Vietnamese: nem).

The Tamils call it as “mullu murukkan” . In Siddha medicine it is used especially for menstrual disorders and fissures at penis tip .

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythrina_variegata
http://www.stuartxchange.org/Dapdap.html

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Sutherlandia frutescens

Botanical Name : Sutherlandia frutescens
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Sutherlandia
Species: S. frutescens
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Fabales

Synonyms. : Colutea frutescens L., Lessertia frutescens (L.) Goldblatt & J.C.Manning

Common Name :Cancer bush, Balloon pea, Sutherlandia,Wildegansie,Eendjies, Gansiekeur

Habitat :Sutherlandia frutescens occurs naturally throughout the dry parts of southern Africa, in Western Cape and up the west coast as far north as Namibia and into Botswana, and in the western Karoo to Eastern Cape. It shows remarkable variation within its distribution.

Description:
Sutherlandia is an attractive small, soft wooded shrublet, 0.5 to 1 m in height. The leaves are pinnately compound . The leaflets are 4–10 mm long, grey-green in colour, giving the bush a silvery appearance. They have a very bitter taste.

CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES 

The flowers are orange-red, up to 35 mm long, and are carried in short racemes in the leaf axils at the tips of the branches in spring to mid-summer (September – December).The flowers are not typical ‘pea’ flowers, the wing petals are very small and are concealed in the calyx, and the standard petal is much shorter than the keel.

The fruit is a large, bladder-like, papery inflated pod and is almost transparent. It can be used in dry flower arrangements as it dries well, maintaining its colour and form.

Ecology:
Sunbirds pollinate the attractive, butterfly-like red flowers. The lightweight, papery, inflated pods enable the seed to be dispersed easily by wind. Stock browse the foliage.

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Ecologically legumes are well known for fixing nitrogen in the soil through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria. The bacteria infect the roots, forming small growths or nodules. Inside the nodules, atmospheric nitrogen, which the plants cannot use, is converted to ammonia, which plants can use.

The plant supplies sugars for the bacteria, while the bacteria provide the biologically useful nitrogen that the plant absorbs.

Growing Sutherlandia frutescens:
Sutherlandia is fast growing and easy to grow, but short-lived as a garden subject. It is a tough, hardy plant that does well in full sun and tolerates all soil types. It occurs both in summer and winter rainfall regions, and is quite drought tolerant so does not require much watering. When growing it in containers, make sure that it is well drained and don’t over-water. The plant is also quite pest resistant. Plants seed themselves readily, so that as the older plants start to look past their best they can be removed.

It makes interesting temporary filler in the mixed border, rockery or shrubbery, especially if it is planted in groups or en masse. It is also a good contrast foliage plant against a green backdrop and can be used effectively to punctuate a soft landscape planting. It is also a must for the herb garden. It grows well in containers, and can be used as a temporary decoration for the patio or courtyard. Because they are fast and tough, they also work quite well as pioneers in a new garden, where they give cover and colour while the slower growing perennials get going.

The cancer bush seeds itself readily, and grows easily from seed. Sow in autumn or spring in well-drained soil. Germination is improved if seeds are left to soak for about 4 hours or overnight in water hot enough for you to put your hand in. We have found that many members of the pea & bean family are susceptible to pre-emergence damping off. Using sterile soil and treating the seed with the Apron (a.i. metalaxyl) effectively combats fungal infection. Keep the seed trays warm (not hot) and damp but not wet. Germination should occur in 2 to 3 weeks and seedlings can be transplanted as soon as they are large enough to handle. Planting the plants close together in groups of 3 or 5 will give you a fuller, more attractive bush.

Medicinal Properities & Uses:
Sutherlandia frutescens is revered as one of the important medicinal plants in the south Africa and has historically been used by Khoi, Nama and San people.
It has been reported that workers in Namaqualand smoke the plant as a cannabis substitute for its pleasant sedative and anti-anxiety effect. The smoke is also said to relieve extreme pain. The foliage/stems are a rich source of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called GABA and this could well account for its stress fighting anxiolytic effects.

Sutherlandia is also a potent adaptogen that helps to normalize many of the body’s functions and to act as an immune-enhancer as well. It contains a very active compound, canavanine, which has been documented to have anti-viral and anti-cancer activity. Yet another compound, pinitol, has been used to treat wasting syndrome in AIDS and cancer patients.

Infusion made from the leaves is a traditional remedy for fever, chicken pox, flu, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, and stomach and liver problems. Also makes an excellent wash for wounds. Red-orange flowers appear in spring.

One experimental animal study suggest that “S. frutescens shoot aqueous extract possesses analgesic, antiinflammatory, and hypoglycemic properties, and thus lend pharmacological credence to the suggested folkloric uses of the herb in the management and/or control of painful, arthritic and other inflammatory conditions, as well as for adult-onset, type-2 diabetes mellitus in some communities of South Africa.”

Sutherlandia frutescens is a much-respected and long-used medicinal plant that is also an attractive garden plant, and has been cultivated in gardens for many years, for its fine form, striking colour and luminous flowers.

The common name hierba del cancer stems not from the ability of the plant to fight cancer but rather because of the local use of the word cancer to mean an open sore.  The plant is used as a remedy in Belize for a variety of serious skin conditions such as fungus, ulcers, ringworm and itching or burning labia in women.  It is used throughout Latin America as a diuretic. The leaves are used in Guatemala not only as a diuretic but also to treat kidney-related problems.  In Haiti  it is used to treat diarrhea, inflammations and dyspepsia.    In a study of plants used in Guatemala as a diuretic and for the treatment of urinary ailments, extracts of the plant were shown to increase urinary output by 52%.  A dried leaf tincture has been shown to be active against Staphylococcus aureus but inactive against some other bacteria.

Excellent remedy to wash skin conditions of the worst kind such as chronic rashes, blisters, peeling skin, deep sores, ulcers, fungus, ringworm, inflammation, itching and burning of labia in women – boil one entire plant in one quart water for 10 minutes; strain and wash area with very hot water 3 times daily.  Leaves may be dried and toasted and passed through a screen to make a powder to sprinkle on sores, skin infections, or boils. For stomach complaints or urinary infections, boil one entire plant in 3 cups water for 5 minutes; drink 3 cups of warm decoction 3 times a day (1 cup before each meal).  The local use of the word “cancer” refers to a type of open sore.  A dried leaf tincture was shown to have in vitro activity against Staphylococcus aureus.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutherlandia_frutescens
http://www.bidorbuy.co.za/item/18634216/20_Sutherlandia_frutescens_Seeds_Kankerbos_Cancerbush_Wildegansie_Indigenous_Medicinal.html
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_C.htm

http://fernkloof.com/species2.mv?Sutherlandia%20frutescens

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MRSA

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, MRSA

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, MRSA (Photo credit: Microbe World)

Definition:
MRSA(Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)   is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. It may also be called multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (ORSA).

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MRSA is, by definition, any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics which include the penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins.

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Most MRSA infections occur in people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it’s known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

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Another type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community — among healthy people. This form, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.

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MRSA is capable of resisting Beta-Lactamase resistant Antibiotics via the mecA gene. This is a gene that encodes Penicillin-binding-protein 2a (PBP2a). ?-lactam antibiotics have a low affinity for PBP2a, therefore cell wall synthesis is able to proceed in their presence.

Symptoms:
S. aureus most commonly colonizes the anterior nares (the nostrils), although the rest of the respiratory tract, open wounds, intravenous catheters, and urinary tract are also potential sites for infection. Healthy individuals may carry MRSA asymptomatically for periods ranging from a few weeks to many years. Patients with compromised immune systems are at a significantly greater risk of symptomatic secondary infection.

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In most patients, MRSA can be detected by swabbing the nostrils and isolating the bacteria found inside. Combined with extra sanitary measures for those in contact with infected patients, screening patients admitted to hospitals has been found to be effective in minimizing the spread of MRSA in hospitals in the United States,  Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands.

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MRSA may progress substantially within 24–48 hours of initial topical symptoms. After 72 hours MRSA can take hold in human tissues and eventually become resistant to treatment. The initial presentation of MRSA is small red bumps that resemble pimples, spider bites, or boils that may be accompanied by fever and occasionally rashes. Within a few days the bumps become larger, more painful, and eventually open into deep, pus-filled boils.  About 75 percent of community-associated (CA-) MRSA infections are localized to skin and soft tissue and usually can be treated effectively. However, some CA-MRSA strains display enhanced virulence, spreading more rapidly and causing illness much more severe than traditional healthcare-associated (HA-) MRSA infections, and they can affect vital organs and lead to widespread infection (sepsis), toxic shock syndrome and necrotizing (“flesh-eating”) pneumonia. This is thought to be due to toxins carried by CA-MRSA strains, such as PVL and PSM, though PVL was recently found to not be a factor in a study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH. It is not known why some healthy people develop CA-MRSA skin infections that are treatable whereas others infected with the same strain develop severe infections or die.  The bacteria attack parts of the immune system, and even engulf white blood cells, the opposite of the usual.

The most common manifestations of CA-MRSA are skin infections such as necrotizing fasciitis or pyomyositis (most commonly found in the tropics), necrotizing pneumonia, infective endocarditis (which affects the valves of the heart), or bone or joint infections.  CA-MRSA often results in abscess formation that requires incision and drainage. Before the spread of MRSA into the community, abscesses were not considered contagious because it was assumed that infection required violation of skin integrity and the introduction of staphylococci from normal skin colonization. However, newly emerging CA-MRSA is transmissible (similar, but with very important differences) from Hospital-Associated MRSA. CA-MRSA is less likely than other forms of MRSA to cause cellulitis.

Causes  :
It’s all about survival of the fittest – the basic principle of evolution. Bacteria have been around a lot longer than us, so they’re pretty good at it.

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There are countless different strains of a single type of bacteria, and each has subtle natural genetic mutations that make it different from another. In addition, bacterial genes are constantly mutating.

Some strains’ genetic makeup will give them a slight advantage when it comes to fighting off antibiotic attack. So when susceptible strains encounter antibiotics they die, while these naturally resistant strains may prove harder to kill. This means the next time you encounter S.aureus, it’s more likely to be one that has survived an antibiotic encounter, (i.e. a resistant one). Eventually, the strain becomes resistant to different antibiotics, even though they work in slightly different ways.

When you are prescribed antibiotics, you are advised to finish the entire course. If you don’t do this, there’s a chance that you’ll kill most of the bugs but not all of them – and the ones that survive are likely to be those that have adapted to be more resistant to antibiotics.

Over time, the bulk of the S.aureus strains will carry resistant genes and further mutations may only add to their survival ability. Strains that manage to carry two or three resistance genes will have extraordinary powers of resistance to a range of different antibiotics.

The reason hospitals seem to be hotbeds for resistant MRSA is because with many vulnerable patients, infections are common and easily spread. So many different strains are thrown together with so many doses of antibiotics, vastly accelerating this natural selection process.

Click & see: MRSA study shows spread from animals to hospitals

.Risk factors:
At risk populations include:

*People with weak immune systems (people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer patients, transplant recipients, severe asthmatics, etc.)

*Diabetics

*Intravenous drug users

*Use of quinolone antibiotics

*Young children

*The elderly

*College students living in dormitories

*People staying or working in a health care facility for an extended period of time

*People who spend time in coastal waters where MRSA is present, such as some beaches in Florida and the west coast of the United States

*People who spend time in confined spaces with other people, including prison inmates, military recruits in basic training, and individuals who spend considerable time in changerooms or gyms.

*Hospital patients

*Prison inmates:

*People in contact with live food-producing animals

*Athletes

*Children

Diasgnosis:
A century or more ago people knew that an infection was bad news and could rapidly kill a patient. But these days, since the rapid development of antibiotics after World War Two, we often take the power of antibiotics for granted, and expect them to work without question. MRSA is dangerous because it takes us back to the days when little could be done to stop an infection.

MRSA is particularly dangerous in hospitals. It’s a fact of life in the NHS that hospital patients are at higher than normal risk of picking up a S.aureus infection on the wards.

This is for two reasons. Firstly, hospital populations tend to be older, sicker and weaker than the general population, and therefore more vulnerable to infection. Secondly, conditions in hospitals involve a great many people living cheek by jowl, examined by doctors and nurses who have just touched other patients – the perfect environment for the transmission of all manner of infections. This is why there are strict hand-washing and hygiene measures when entering and leaving wards, and between seeing different patients.

Once these patients develop an infection they’re less able than a healthy person to fight it and urgent treatment with antibiotics may be critical. But because MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, it may quickly overwhelm a weak patient, or cause a festering infection (for example in a wound or a joint implant) that causes tissue destruction and chronic disability.

Strains:
In the UK, where MRSA is commonly called “Golden Staph”, the most common strains of MRSA are EMRSA15 and EMRSA16.  EMRSA16 is the best described epidemiologically: it originated in Kettering, England, and the full genomic sequence of this strain has been published.   EMRSA16 has been found to be identical to the ST36:USA200 strain, which circulates in the United States, and to carry the SCCmec type II, enterotoxin A and toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 genes.  Under the new international typing system, this strain is now called MRSA252. It is not entirely certain why this strain has become so successful, whereas previous strains have failed to persist. One explanation is the characteristic pattern of antibiotic susceptibility. Both the EMRSA15 and EMRSA16 strains are resistant to erythromycin and ciprofloxacin. It is known that Staphylococcus aureus can survive intracellularly,   for example in the nasal mucosa   and in the tonsil tissue ,.   Erythromycin and Ciprofloxacin are precisely the antibiotics that best penetrate intracellularly; it may be that these strains of S. aureus are therefore able to exploit an intracellular niche.

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Community-acquired MRSA (CA-MRSA) is more easily treated, though more virulent, than hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA). CA-MRSA apparently did not evolve de novo in the community but represents a hybrid between MRSA that spread from the hospital environment and strains that were once easily treatable in the community. Most of the hybrid strains also acquired a factor that increases their virulence, resulting in the development of deep-tissue infections from minor scrapes and cuts, as well as many cases of fatal pneumonia.

In the United States, most cases of CA-MRSA are caused by a CC8 strain designated ST8:USA300, which carries SCCmec type IV, Panton-Valentine leukocidin, PSM-alpha and enterotoxins Q and K, and ST1:USA400.  Other community-acquired strains of MRSA are ST8:USA500 and ST59:USA1000. In many nations of the world, MRSA strains with different predominant genetic background types have come to predominate among CA-MRSA strains; USA300 easily tops the list in the U. S. and is becoming more common in Canada after its first appearance there in 2004. For example, in Australia ST93 strains are common, while in continental Europe ST80 strains predominate (Tristan et al., Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2006). In Taiwan, ST59 strains, some of which are resistant to many non-beta-lactam antibiotics, have arisen as common causes of skin and soft tissue infections in the community. In a remote region of Alaska, unlike most of the continental U. S., USA300 was found rarely in a study of MRSA strains from outbreaks in 1996 and 2000 as well as in surveillance from 2004–06 (David et al., Emerg Infect Dis 2008).

In June of 2011, the discovery of a new strain of MRSA was announced by two separate teams of researchers in the UK. Its genetic make-up was reportedly more similar to strains found in animals, and testing kits designed to detect MRSA were unable to identify it.

Treatment:
Antibiotics are not completely powerless against MRSA, but patients may require a much higher dose over a much longer period, or the use of an alternative antibiotic, often needing intravenous administration or with less tolerable side-effects, to which the bug has less resistance.

MRSA is just one of a number of infections causing major challenges for health workers, and some are concerned that the situation can only get worse. There is no doubt that there is an urgent need to develop new and better antibiotics and, more importantly, to work harder to prevent infection spreading and use the antibiotics we already have more efficiently.

There is some evidence that MRSA in hospitals is already decreasing, as a result of better protocols to deal with the bacteria and prevent infection developing (with strategies such as regular screening of patients and use of eradication treatments).

Prevention:
To keep MRSA and other infections at bay, prevention is your best weapon. It is highly recommended that all individuals keep their immune system functioning to its best ability.
This can be done most efficiently by:

* taking a good daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement

* drinking a minimum of 32 oz. of pure water every day

* practice good hygiene methods

* take a good immune system booster like astragalus or ashwagandha every day (be sure to check for allergic reactions)

* only take echinacea if you feel like you are fighting off some bacterial or viral infection AND…..do not take echinacea for longer than 3-4 weeks at a time (it will loose its effectiveness if taken regularly as a preventative).

* you can use a hand sanitizer, which is mostly alcohol, or an effective substitute is Aloe Gel. Aloe is an excellent anti-bacterial and is also a wonderful skin lotion, where as alcohol can be drying.

* the following herbs have proven beneficial in the treatment of MRSA:

For Pneumonia: usnea, garlic, goldenseal, cryptolepsis, eucalyptus, boneset, wormwood, juniper, grapefruit seed extract, oils of thyme or oregano and olive leaf extract.

For surgical/skin infections: any of the above plus honey or sage.

For Bacteremia: echinacea, garlic, usnea or boneset, all given in massive doses.

* A complementary treatment that should not be overlooked is LIGHT THERAPY. A blue light with a frequency of 470nm (nanometers) has been shown to kill MRSA in as little as 2 minutes when shown on the skin at the infection site. This is an extremely useful therapy for those exposed to this infection. Please contact a CAM practitioner for more information on light therapy and other therapies for the treatment of MRSA and other health conditions.

MRSA is a serious medical condition that, unfortunately, has become more prevalent in recent years as this bacteria becomes more resistant to antibiotics.

Research;
ClinicalIt has been reported that maggot therapy to clean out necrotic tissue of MRSA infection has been successful. Studies in diabetic patients reported significantly shorter treatment times than those achieved with standard treatments.

Many antibiotics against MRSA are in phase II and phase III clinical trials. e.g.:

Phase III : ceftobiprole, Ceftaroline, Dalbavancin, Telavancin, Aurograb, torezolid, iclaprim…
Phase II : nemonoxacin.

Pre-clinicalAn entirely different and promising approach is phage therapy (e.g., at the Eliava Institute in Georgia[98]), which in mice had a reported efficacy against up to 95% of tested Staphylococcus isolates.

On May 18, 2006, a report in Nature identified a new antibiotic, called platensimycin, that had demonstrated successful use against MRSA.

Ocean-dwelling living sponges produce compounds that may make MRSA more susceptible to antibiotics.

Cannabinoids (components of Cannabis sativa), including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabigerol (CBG), show activity against a variety of MRSA strains.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.healthalternativesonline.com/MRSA.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa/DS00735
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methicillin-resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/mrsa.shtml

http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/mrsa_initiative/skin_infection/mrsa_photo_003.html

http://www.suite101.com/view_image_articles.cfm/1307955

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