Last year a deadly superbug spread through the nation's leading research hospital, killing six patients before it could be stopped.
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., scrubbed with bleach, locked down patients and even ripped out plumbing.
In the end, it took gene detectives analyzing the germ's DNA to trace it to its source. It came from a New York City patient who was admitted for a medical study.
Infections like that at health care facilities claim an estimated 99,000 lives a year. No hospital is immune.
The NIH on Wednesday published an unusually candid account of its outbreak in Science Translational Medicine.
Researchers say the new gene technology may help other hospitals as they struggle to contain the growing threat of superbugs.