Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA and probiotics

Probiotics are the healers in various ecosystems. They protect the human gut, the human skin, soil, plants, animals, the area around the milking parlour etc. by colonising and outcompeting pathogens. They are extremely valuable and we should have access to them to counter pathogens and superbugs so often created by industrial agriculture and over-prescription of antibiotics.

Keeping an equilibrium when we have to co-exist with both good and bad bacteria

S. aureus, staph or golden staph as it’s commonly called, can often live on the human nose, skin and gut without causing any harm. Many people co-exist with this organism harmlessly. However, if the skin barrier is broken, or the immune system compromised, these colonising bacteria can cause serious infections. A recent study carried out in the U.K. urged people to wash their hands after handling money. It found that coins and notes were crawling with two of the world’s most deadliest bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Enterococcus faecium (VRE). It’s therefore a priceless privilege to have access to the right kind of probiotic microbes to counter harmful ones. Keeping the beneficials out of our diets can lead to disease…

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Staphylococcus aureus is often a problem organism for the raw milk movement in the U.K. due to the predominant cold climate. This can be exacerbated by the use of antibiotics and antimicrobials, because they create antibiotic-resistant microbes, also called superbugs.

Many experienced raw dairy farmers don't use antibiotics anymore and if they do, they manage it carefully by isolating the animal for observation and testing, or even removing these animals from the milking herd completely. As a risk reduction strategy, they also tend to hold the milk back from these animals. Antibiotics can upset the balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive systems of all mammals. It is now certain that like humans, dairy cows too need a balance of beneficial microbes in the rumen for good health. 

In this video a U.K. microbiologist confirms that antibiotics can remove beneficial gut flora from both humans and dairy animals. At the 44 minute time marker, she explains how Staphylococcus aureus can react to antibiotics by producing an enzyme (beta-lactamase) which breaks down antibiotics, and have now developed MRSA (Methicilin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).

It's called it the master of resistance. 

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is highly resistant to treatment with antibiotics. These include oxacillin, flucloxacillin, and dicloxacillin. This means that there are few treatment options for the potentially serious

antibiotic-resistant infections, which makes this superbug potentially dangerous. Infection with the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus can cause many health problems, including sepsis (blood poisoning). Sepsis kills 5,000 Australians each year.

There are around 2 million cases of antibiotic-resistant infections each year in the United States, resulting in 23,000 deaths. About 53 percent of S. aureus isolates (which are individually analysed S. aureus bacteria) in the United States in 2005 alone were antibiotic-resistant.

Scientists have known about anti-microbial resistance since the 1950s – just 10 years after antibiotics became widely used across the world. Antimicrobial resistance – the ability of bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites to resist the effects of a medicine that could previously treat them – could cause more deaths than cancer by 2050, experts believe. Antimicrobial resistance is now responsible for about 25,000 deaths annually in Europe and 700,000 people (of whom 200,000 are newborn babies) die from drug-resistant infections around the world every year. Finding ways to reduce antibiotic resistance is urgent.

Fortunately, probiotics can provide valuable and effective assistance…

A probiotic can fight and eliminate Staphylococcus aureus

According to this article, there is a probiotic bacteria that can destroy this superbug. Researchers discovered that a probiotic bacteria called Bacillus can fight and effectively eliminate S. aureus. NIAID director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci said: "

“This is one of the first studies to describe precisely how they may work to provide health benefits. The possibility that oral Bacillus might be an effective alternative to antibiotic treatment for some conditions is scientifically intriguing and definitely worthy of further exploration."

The recent study worked with 200 participants recruited from rural areas in Thailand. They hypothesised that this population would, most likely, be less exposed to antibiotics or food sterilisation. The scientists collected and analysed their fecal samples to determine which bacterial population might be associated with an absence of S. aureus. According to 101 stool samples the probiotic Bacillus and, in particular, Bacillus subtilis were present. Bacillus bacteria are good at surviving in harsher environments, and they can be ingested with greens and vegetables. Bacillus bacteria can be found mostly in nature, healthy soil, the gastrointestinal tract, and also in food, when the food is colonised by them.

The researchers also conducted tests on mice, which revealed that S. aureus have a specialised system that allows them to colonise and grow. However, all Bacillus isolates that the scientists had removed from human fecal samples were able to effectively inhibit that specialised system.

By using techniques that let them analyse the components and activity of bacteria, the researchers found that the Bacillus bacteria inhibited the specialised S. aureus system by producing molecules known as "fengycins." Also, they noticed that fengycins inhibited the growth of many S. aureus strains, including USA300 MRSA, the potent superbug that is responsible for most of the threatening S. aureus community-associated infections in the U.S.

Further experiments in the rodents showed that when B.subtilis were introduced and allowed to colonise their guts, they soon became free of S.aureus. The study’s lead investigator, Michael Otto said that:

"Ultimately, we hope to determine if a simple probiotic regimen can be used to reduce MRSA infection rates in hospitals."

Broad-spectrum probiotics can act like healers

Probiotics keep pathogens in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and balance our immune system. They regulate the movement through our intestine. They help your body to produce vitamins, absorb minerals and aid in the elimination of toxins. Probiotics counter the effects of environmental toxins. 

In this article, there was an exploration of how having access to diverse-species probiotic microbes in the diet, like those from regulated raw milk which can be cultured with kefir grains, can make a significant contribution to people’s immunity to Listeria monocytogenes. Raw milk can be produced as a low-risk, pathogen-free product for human consumption, when the right controls are implemented into a system, as the Raw Milk Institute’s Risk Assessment Management Plan show.

Another article shows why commercial probiotics like pills and yogurts are inferior probiotics, and why some don’t even work. They are also not a one-size-fits-all, quick fix approach as many people believe, especially for use after a round of antibiotics. This practice can actually be harmful, in some cases. By not allowing people to have frequent access to probiotic-rich foods, like regulated raw drinking milk, it increases their risk of infection from pathogens or superbugs. It can put people’s health into serious jeopardy, because up to 80% of human immunity lies in the gut. The gut lining needs to be replenished with frequent probiotic consumption, in order to protect against our harmful modern lifestyle and eating habits. By not giving people the option to treat their health with the benefits of regulated raw milk, hospitals are over-flowing, and the medical industry is making lots of money from sick people.

Shann Nix Jones from Chuckling Goat in Wales has a beautiful story about the healing powers of probiotic microbes. She was an American city girl who fell in love with, and married a Welsh

goat farmer at 41 years of age. She learnt how to milk a goat and make cheese. Shann also learnt how to make goats milk soap, skin cream and a powerful probiotic kefir that healed her son's eczema in only three weeks, and cleared his bronchial infection. Milk kefir can be applied to the skin for astounding healing benefits, even heal an MRSA infection. Shann saved her husband Rich’s life from a life-threatening, antibiotic-resistant MRSA infection with what she had learnt on the farm. The family business now produce fermented goat milk kefir products, and an essential oil combination named CG Oil, which was sent off for laboratory analysis and proved effective against MRSA, e.coli, salmonella and campylobacter. According to this study, the microorganisms in the live milk kefir grains produce their own lactic acid, natural antibiotics and bactericides which inhibit the development of pathogens.

Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride have been using the healing benefits of probiotics in her practice for many years. In this video from the 2:35 time marker, she explains how to use raw milk in the rehabilitation of the gut. The milk must be fermented as either kefir or yogurt, otherwise it feeds the wrong kind of bacteria. "Fermented, raw dairy products are truly lactose-free products and they are teeming with beneficial microbes, they are probiotic, and they have lactic acid in them, which is one of the best anti-septics for the digestive system. Lactic acid coming in with kefir or yogurt will kill all the pathogens, bring down candida, and all sorts of things, and replace them with beneficial microbes." Lactic acid is produced by lactic acid bacteria. These are naturally present in raw milk, kefir and yogurt.

A probiotic solution for medical use

There is a lot of existing evidence that probiotics reduce the risk of developing respiratory and gastrointestinal infection. Probiotics also seem to reduce the length of time that an infection lasts. There is even evidence that the requirement for antibiotics can be reduced with probiotics. According to this article, a senior investigator Dr. Daniel Merenstein, from the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington D.C., recently said:

“Given this finding, potentially one way to reduce the use of antibiotics is to use probiotics on a regular basis.” - Dr. Daniel Merenstein

The latest study, published in the European Journal of Public Health, show we are now one step further. The scientists wanted to uncover whether consuming probiotics regularly might also reduce the need for antibiotics. The scientists gave infants and children daily doses of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and their analysis concluded that they were 29 percent less likely to be prescribed antibiotics. When they repeated the analysis using only the highest-quality studies, that figure jumped to 53 percent. Dr. Merenstein explained that scientists do not know all the mechanisms probiotic strains may leverage, but "since most of the human immune system is found in the gastrointestinal tract, ingesting healthy bacteria may competitively exclude bacterial pathogens linked to gut infections and may prime the immune system to fight others."

Raw drinking milk should be made available in Australia to those who choose to consume it… There is an urgency to grow more diverse-species, beneficial microbes to counter harmful ones in many different ecosystems. This cannot be done under a microscope in a laboratory. It must be done with the application of healthy farming systems that repopulate probiotic microbes in the environment.