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Texas State research on deadly MRSA infections named ‘Hot Topic’

By Kristina Kenney
University News Service
May 1, 2012

Research published on Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the international, open-access journal BioMed Central Health Services Research by two professors at Texas State University-San Marcos has recently been recognized as a “Hot Topic” on the journal’s website.

Authors of the study are Rodney Rohde, associate dean for research in the College of Health Professions and associate professor in the Clinical Laboratory Science Program, along with Jovita Ross-Gordon, professor in the Department of Counseling, Leadership, Adult Education and School Psychology. The research was conducted during Rohde’s Ph.D. dissertation, with Ross-Gordon as his dissertation chair in the Adult, Professional and Community Education (APCE) Program at Texas State.

Research addresses the staggering fact that more people in the U.S. now die from MRSA infections than from HIV/AIDS. These infections are often acquired in healthcare facilities or during healthcare procedures.

MRSA first emerged as a serious infectious threat in the late 1960s as the bacterium developed resistance to methicillin, the synthetic form of penicillin. These infections are quick to exploit any opportunity to invade wounds, nasal passageways or mucosal membranes where they can rapidly produce infections that can become life-threatening. Over the years, MRSA has been the focus of intense scientific and political interest around the world and has frequently been labeled as a “superbug” in mainstream media.

The high incidence of MRSA infections and the dangerously low levels of literacy regarding antibiotic resistance in the general public are on a collision course. The traditional medical approaches to infection control and the conventional attitude that healthcare practitioners adopt toward public and medical education are no longer adequate to avoid this collision. The study helps explain how people acquire and process new information and then adapt behaviors based on learning.

For more information on this research, please contact Rodney Rohde at To view and read the study in its entirety, visit