Monday, March 16, 2009

Staphylococcal aureus and me

Busy busy day - I hope to make more sense of the chaos in my brain tomorrow. During my busy day, however, I ran across three bits of data that I'm trying to connect. I may be stretching, but...:

1) at the dermatologist's office today, I was enrolled in a study on "Staphylococcal colonization and the subsequent risk of serious infection in patients with inflammatory autoimmune diseases" (including Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis). Very nice young man swabbed my nose and groin, and asked me a bunch of questions about my disease(s) and exposure to Staphylococcal Aureus. They want to prevent further infection in folks like me with inflammatory autoimmune diseases...

2) This article came out in the NYT... Kristof writes about the rather frightening amounts of MRSA (an antibiotic resistant form of Staphylococcal Aureus bacteria) in our food - he focuses on pork, in this article.

and 3) this fabulous post, bringing things full circle. A woman on the NPF Psoriasis message boards did all my work for me, and found a ton of research linking Staph and the onset or flares of psoriasis (ignore the ad in a later post).

So, in short, here's where my head is right now. Some of us have a genetic predisposition to autoimmune disease. Staph infections can maybe trigger and/or exacerbate psoriasis, or other autoimmune diseases, and Staph rates in our food are on the rise. Could Staph be another factor contributing to the increase in autoimmune disease in the US? As for the study I'm in, I'm glad to help, but it could be too little, too late.

I must run and make dinner for me and Sam, which was going to be leftover pork. I think we'll switch to turkey.

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