Patients at a Warwickshire hospital have acquired a new superbug, thought to be stronger than MRSA, it was revealed yesterday.
Gentamicin-resistant MRSA does not react to standard drugs used to treat other strains of the bacteria and it is thought to cause blood poisoning and chest infections.
According to a leaked document, 11 patients at Walsgrave Hospital have acquired the superbug - the first of which was identified in an intensive care patient during routine screening in June.
Since then nine more patients were found to have the bacteria on their skin.
A note written by a microbiologist at the hospital said traces of this stronger strain had been found in two intensive care units and a high dependency unit.
Five cases occurred within ten days between August and September and a further eight patients acquired the infection while in the Coventry hospital.
This strain of MRSA is also resistant to other frontline antibiotics mupirocin, fuicidin and rifampicin.
The note read: "The strain is particularly recognisable because of its very resistant sensitivity pattern."
Martin Lee, medical director of University of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said Walsgrave Hospital was one of the ten most improved centres in the country for fighting hospital acquired infections.
He said: "There has only been one other isolated case and no higher rate of complication has been identified of gentamicin-resistant MRSA.
"In addition no other patients were identified as having this form of MRSA on wards where these patients were transferred to."