LONDON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- British researchers say up to half of the cases of sudden infant death syndrome may be caused by bacteria that multiply quickly in foam mattresses.
Staphylococcus aureus, which is related to the drug-resistant bacteria affecting many U.S. hospitals, can survive for months in unused polyurethane foam mattresses and polyester mattress covers, De Montfort University researchers say in the study to be published the Journal of Applied Microbiology.
Lead researcher Richard Jenkins said a study found 50 percent of infants who died from SIDS had elevated levels of the toxic bacteria in their systems.
"We are not saying this would account for every single death, but the data is stacking up," Jenkins told the London Daily Mail.
Johnson warned parents not to reuse bed mattresses to protect their infants from SIDS.