Paul G. Auwaerter, clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and who was on the panel when Moore presented her report, agrees.
"It's too early to tell" if USA600 represents a new threat to patient safety, he says, because the number—16—is too small. "Who knows?" he says. "This may be a signal.
"Detroit tends to be a place where they have an intensive drug using population—and although it wasn't clear whether these patients had been intravenous drug users," he says. "we remembered that in the 1970s, some of the first signs of bad staph aureus came from Detroit.
"This is interesting to point out and it definitely bears more investigation," he says.