Scientists Find Bedbugs Carrying Nasty Surprise
Drug-resistant MRSA bacteria found on bedbugs in Vancouver
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 11, 2011 2:21 PM CDT
Bedbugs are seen next to the tip of a finger in a container from the lab at the National Pest Management Association.   (Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Hate insects? Afraid of germs? Researchers are reporting an alarming combination: bedbugs carrying "superbug" germs. Canadian scientists detected drug-resistant MRSA bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients from a downtrodden Vancouver neighborhood. The study is small and very preliminary: Five bedbugs were crushed and analyzed after a simultaneous boom in bedbugs and MRSA cases was noticed in the neighborhood. MRSA was found on three bugs.

Bedbugs have not been known to spread disease, and there's no clear evidence that the five bedbugs found on the patients or their belongings had spread MRSA. However, bedbugs can cause itching that can lead to excessive scratching. That can cause breaks in the skin that make people more susceptible to these bacteria.