Another short post here, this time on modeling the spread of hospital-acquired bacteria. Horizontal gene transfer between bacteria is a huge problem in hospitals and these researchers have developed some models for how this process actually occurs in hospitals. They’ve applied their techniques in a couple of real-life situations with interesting results. They found for example that over half of the genetic variation in MRSA is caused by horizontal gene transfer. From these results they can start to get a handle on the epidemiology of problematic strains with potential implications for management of outbreaks.