Bacteria and you (a healthy rant)

Mike the Mad Biologist writes, in his blog:

During the last week, I’ve come across a couple sensationalist article about E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus being found on common surfaces. Here’s one article about shopping carts and E. coli… And here’s an article about Staphylococcus aureus (those S. aureus resistant to methicillin–and often other antibiotics–are known as MRSA)…

MRSA is a problem in the clinical setting, and its increase in the healthy population is worrisome, since healthy people can serve as a reservoir of resistant organisms and resistance genes. Likewise, you don’t want to have an E. coli bloodstream infection. But both S. aureus and E. coli are commensal organisms: they live on and in us, and typically don’t cause disease–usually, only when they wind up where they don’t belong. If you come into contact with them–the aforementioned wiping your ass–you’ll be fine unless you’re severely immunocompromised or have an open wound.

This is scaremongering.