GCSE Bioligy Case Sudy - MRSA

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GCSE Bioligy Case Sudy                                                                                                                   January  2010

Is going to hospital too much of a risk due to the outbreak of MRSA?

     Contents                                                                                        Page

  • Introduction                                                                            1
  • What is MRSA?                                                                       2
  • How does MRSA reproduce?                                               2
  • Why is MRSA resistatant to most ?                 3
  • How do antibiotics work?                                                     3
  • How can MRSA be prevented?                                            3
  • How does MRSA harm someone?                                      4
  • What are the symptoms of MRSA?                                    4
  • MRSA in hospitals                                                                  5
  • Arguments against going to hospital                                 5
  • Arguments In favour of going to hospital                          5
  • Evaluation of the evidence                                                  6
  • Conclusion                                                                              6
  • Alternative Conclusion                                                         6
  • Bibliography                                                                           7


In this case study I will look into the scientific and ethical implications of MRSA in hospitals. I will try to decide whether or not going to hospital is to much of a risk due to the outbreak of MRSA, whilst also explaining the science behind MRSA and the current situations we are facing with it in our day to day lives. Hopefully this article will widen your understanding and views on this controversial subject. Left: MRSA under the microscope (1)  


What is MRSA? 
MRSA (the abbreviation of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, often refered to as a “superbug” due to its restance to most antibiotics) is a type of bacteria that is most abundant in hospitals all around the world. Due to its immunity to the family of beta-lactam antibiotics (which includes the common penicillin) it is difficult to prevent the reproduction and spread of this bacteria. It is a variety of Staphylococcus Aureus (often abbreviated to “staph”) that is also resistant to meticillin, and some of the other antibiotics that are usually used to
destroy Staphylococcus Aureus. Its has existed for thousands of years, but has become a larger problem in the past decade. Suprisingly about one third of the population carry it on their skin, nose or throat (2). It is also responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year in the USA alone (8). MRSA is just one of a number of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that have become a increasing problem in recent years. They spread especially fast within hospitals, with an estimated 7 million people worldwide catching healthcare-associated infections each year (11). 

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How does MRSA reproduce?  
The only way someone can be infected with MRSA is if it gets through the natural defense systems in the human skin. This is either by someone who has a weak immune system that allows it to pass into the body, or by invasive surgery or injury where the skin is penetrated, leaving an open wound for the MRSA to enter the blood stream. Either of these two ways will result in the MRSA bacteria entering the circulatory system. When in the circulatory system the bacteria reproduces within itself (asexual reproduction).  It does so by binary ...

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An excellent GCSE level report that presents key scientific explanations and arguments clearly, with good use of relevant graphs and statistics and consistent references. To improve: 1)Clarify why the diseases that MRSA cause are so dangerous, briefly describing what they are. For example meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges in the brain 2)Name some of the alternative antibiotics that can be used to treat MRSA 3)Work on scientific language. Bacteria are never immune to anything. They are resistant