Health and Science

Broad 'Superbug' Testing Saves Lives: Study

Mike Huckman,|CNBC Pharmaceutical Reporter

A new study says testing everyone admitted to a hospital for a potentially fatal staph infection saves lives.

Researchers report in the latest issue of the "Annals of Internal Medicine" that testing patients for the so-called "Superbug" MRSA cut infections more than in half.

They followed patients at three hospitals that are part of the Evanston Northwestern Healthcare system in Illinois.

The findings contradict the results of a Swiss study published in another journal last week which concluded universal MRSA testing doesn't work well enough to justify its cost. The Swiss researchers used a slower, older test than the ones available today.

Becton Dickenson and Cepheid make the two MRSA tests that are on the market.

Some of the doctors involved in the latest study have received grants from or have done consulting work for Becton Dickenson.