) -- Bedbugs can carry the dangerous staph infection MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according

researchers in Canada


Scientists discovered that a sample of 5 bedbugs collected from three hospital patients in Vancouver, Canada, were carrying two types of drug-resistant bacteria, MRSA and vancomycin-resistant enterococci, a bacteria known as VRE.

These dangerous strains are often referred to as superbug because of their resistance to many standard antibiotics.

Co-investigator Dr. Marc Romney, a medical microbiologist at St. Paul's Hospital, said that the researchers have not yet established whether the bugs can transmit disease.

"We can't state that bedbugs can transmit disease," Romney said. "What we can say is we found MRSA and VRE on these bedbugs and they might serve as potential vectors for MRSA and VRE, which may ultimately cause disease."

The authors of the study plan to continue to research the link between MRSA and the bedbugs to find out whether a bedbug carrying the deadly germ can transmit it to people.

--Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.

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