Canadian scientists have found drug resistant staph bacteria in bedbugs on three hospital patients in Vancouver, B.C., while conducting research.
Bedbugs have not been known to spread disease, but five of the bed bugs were analyzed and several were carrying MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which can be deadly if it gets through the skin and into the bloodstream.
Bedbugs can cause itching, which could make people scratch and become more susceptible to the deadly staph disease.
Two of the other bugs had another form of a less dangerous drug-resistant bacteria.
The study is small and very preliminary.
"But it's an intriguing finding that needs to be further researched," said Dr. Marc Romney, medical microbiologist at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.
"It's not clear if the bacteria originated with the bedbugs or if the bugs picked it up from already infected people," Romney added.
The study was released Wednesday by Emerging Infectious Diseases, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.