May 11, 2011 2:52 PM by Elaine Sheridan
ATLANTA (AP) - Researchers are reporting an alarming combination: bedbugs carrying a staph "superbug."
Canadian scientists detected drug-resistant staph bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients in Vancouver.
There's no clear evidence that the five bedbugs found on the patients and their belongings had spread the MRSA (MUR'-suh) germ or a second less-dangerous drug-resistant bacteria.
While bedbugs have not been known to spread disease, one of the study's authors says the creatures can cause itchiness and scratching. Dr. Marc Romney says that can cause breaks in the skin that make people more susceptible to an infection.
Still, he describes the study as small and preliminary.
The hospital where the bedbugs were discovered is near a downtrodden neigborhood by Vancouver's waterfront.