Definition of superbug in US English:



  • 1A strain of bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotic drugs.

    • ‘Unfortunately, superbugs can also exchange survival secrets with other bacteria, even different species, allowing additional resistant organisms to grow.’
    • ‘The coating is important because it prevents colonization of the tissue by bacteria, such as the superbug MRSA.’
    • ‘It has helped us to understand why medicines do not always work as we might hope, why irresponsible use of antibiotics has bred superbugs, how the AIDS virus does its terrible work.’
    • ‘More than 340 delegates are expected to debate around 70 motions, which also include tackling the hospital superbug, MRSA.’
    • ‘Bacteria from the cut-price meat that we eat can remain in the gut for years and, warn scientists, breed superbugs untreatable in humans.’
    • ‘The adjoining bathroom was off-limits thanks to a suspected superbug case in the next room.’
    • ‘After hearing evidence from the World Health Organisation and others in 1997, the EU banned avoparcin because of fears about resistant superbugs spreading from poultry to humans.’
    • ‘Recent breakthroughs, including the sequencing of the genome of an important bacterium and the discovery of a key to antibiotic resistance in one of the superbugs, are promising advancements.’
    • ‘Resistance can lead to the creation of a superbug and is one of the reasons penicillin has traditionally been used.’
    • ‘And scientists in the UK are looking for new ways to deal with antibiotic resistant hospital superbugs.’
    • ‘When she went to hospital to have the wound examined she was informed that she was infected with a strain of staph bacteria, similar to the MRSA superbug.’
    • ‘As a result, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria - also known as superbugs - no longer respond to first- or even second-choice antibiotic therapy.’
    • ‘However, infants born prematurely are at a greater risk from superbugs caused by the very antibiotics that are supposed to be reducing their risk of infection.’
    • ‘In July, the most recent superbug, a type of Staphyloccocus aureus, was found in an American patient suffering from a leg ulcer.’
    • ‘In mutant form, superbugs can wreak havoc in hospitals and rest homes, infecting open wounds and forcing the closure of wards and operating theatres.’
    • ‘Several types of bacteria found by the five-person team produce an antibiotic that acts against the notorious hospital superbug, MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus.)’
    • ‘A superfit Royal Marine collapsed and died within days of scratching his leg on a bush while on a training run - victim of a mutated superbug one doctor described as the worst she had ever seen.’
    • ‘The winter vomiting bug and the so called superbug [MRSA] are almost exclusively passed between patients attending hospitals.’
    • ‘The government last week put a crackdown on hospital cleanliness at the centre of its fight against the superbug MRSA, which kills an estimated 5,000 in-patients every year in the UK.’
    • ‘The C. difficile bacteria causes severe diarrhea and may have mutated into a virulent superbug over the past couple of years, according to reports.’
    1. 1.1 An insect that is difficult to control or eradicate, especially because it has become immune to insecticides.
      • ‘As for superbugs - agricultural pests or bacteria that have become immune to pesticides or antibiotics from overuse - he says inadequate effort has been made to detect them.’
      • ‘The emergence of such superbugs, which experts have long predicted, poses a grave threat.’
  • 2A bacterium that is useful in biotechnology, typically one that has been genetically engineered to enhance its usefulness for a particular purpose.