The researchers behind the study about a new infection that was said to be targeting gay men say that they regret the subsequent media frenzy.

The study on a drug resistant MRSA superbug claimed that gay men were particularly vulnerable to infection. The report was picked by news media and led to stories suggesting that the MRSA bacterium was “the New HIV”.

Now the University of California at San Francisco’s (UCSF) Department of Public Affairs – where a number of the study’s researchers are based – has issued a statement on the subsequent fracas.

“We regret that our recent news report about an important population-based study on MRSA USA300 with public health implications contained some information that could be interpreted as misleading,” said the university.

“We deplore negative targeting of specific populations in association with MRSA infections or other public health concerns, and we will be working to ensure that accurate information about the research is disseminated to the health community and the general public.”

Other scientists have questioned the study’s methodology and say that its conclusions require more research to assess if there is indeed a link between the infections and men having sex with men.

The Centres for Disease Control in the US said that, “MRSA is typically transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, which occurs during a variety of activities, including sex. There is no evidence at this time to suggest that MRSA is a sexually-transmitted infection in the classical sense.”

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