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Bedbugs carry drug-resistant MRSA bacteria

Chicago Tribune, May 12, 2011

Bedbugs leave their victims with itchy red welts, but they haven't been considered much of a threat when it comes to the spread of disease. A new report calls that assumption into question. Researchers have now found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients in Vancouver, Canada. On one patient, researchers found three bedbugs carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, a bacterium resistant to many common antibiotics. On two patients, they found a bedbug with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, or VRE, another bacterium resistant to common antibiotics. The report was published online before being printed in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The researchers hasten to point out that there is no, repeat, no evidence linking bedbugs to disease transmission. But, they say, it's possible.