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University of Iowa News Release

April 13, 2005

Study Looks At Antibiotic-Resistant Staph Infections In Iowa

A team of researchers at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics recently reported that antibiotic-resistant staph infections are becoming a serious public health concern in Iowa, which mirrors the results of a similar national study.

The Iowa researchers tested 193 samples of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from patients across the state. The results showed that a more virulent strain of the organism is now widespread in Iowa and can cause severe infections of the skin, soft tissues, lungs and blood.

The investigators concluded that many MRSA infections now occur in the community, outside of health care settings. They recommended ongoing surveillance to determine how extensive such cases are becoming in communities and in hospitals in Iowa.

The UI research team included Dilek Ince, M.D., Patricia Winokur, M.D., Susan Beekmann, Loreen Herwaldt, M.D., Michael Pfaller, M.D., Gary Doern, Ph.D., and Daniel J. Diekema, M.D. Their findings were presented this week at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, in Los Angeles, Calif.

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine found results similar to those of the UI study. The national research team called MRSA infections a common and serious problem that usually involves the skin, especially among children, commonly leading to hospital stays.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,