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MRSA Strain With Outbreak Potential Among Reports at Disease Conference
Date:10/24/2010

in the rates, she said, "because antibiotic use is strongly linked to antibiotic resistance."

Among other research being presented at the conference, which concludes Sunday in Vancouver, Canada: three new drugs appear to show promise in fighting MRSA and other bacteria when current antibiotics fail.

  • Fusidic acid, which could fight S. aureus. "This is pretty exciting because it has no cross-resistance with any class of antibiotics so it could be used widely," said Dr. Ronald N. Jones, chief executive of JMI Laboratories in North Liberty, Iowa, which makes the drug and funded the study being presented.
  • JNJ-Q2. This potential agent belongs to a class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones and may be effective against S. aureus, including the methicillin-resistant form. "JNJ-Q2 was 16 times more potent than the existing marketed fluoroquinolones," Jones said. The drug is moving into phase 2 and phase 3 trials, he said.
  • A version of cephalosporin. It "may enable us to treat a broader spectrum of drug-resistant bacteria, although it probably won't be on the market till 2013 or 2014," Jones said.

Also being presented at the conference is a study involving a computer model that found that "universal contact precautions" -- requiring anyone visiting a MRSA patient in the hospital to wear gloves and a gown -- were more effective at preventing MRSA infection among patients in intensive-care units than were other strategies.

But the approach was expensive. The study's lead author, Dr. Courtney A. Gidengil, an instructor in pediatrics at Children's Hospital of Boston and Harvard Medical School, said that other strategies might be less effective but they are also less costly.

Another study presented at the conference found that carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, which carries a high mortality rate, is becoming more prevalent in the Chicago area.

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