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No ESKAPE! New drugs against MRSA, other superbugs still lacking
Date:12/1/2008

bad bugs."

The ESKAPE Bacteria

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the six ESKAPE bacteria are responsible for two thirds of all health care-associated infections (HAIs). They are:

Enterococcus species: Enterococci were responsible for one out of eight HAIs in 2006-2007. A 2004 study found about two thirds of E. faecium bloodstream infections were resistant to vancomycin, one of the most commonly used antibiotics to treat enterococcal infections. Some physicians are treating vancomycin-resistant E. faecium with the new antibiotics linezolid, daptomycin, and tigecycline, but these drugs have not been studied extensively for use against these infections. Furthermore, many patients cannot tolerate them.

Staphylococcus aureus: The only household name among the ESKAPE bugs, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreaks have been reported among otherwise-healthy athletes, military recruits, school children, and others. MRSA caused an estimated 94,000 invasive infectionsmore than 19,000 of them fatalin 2005, according to a recent study by CDC. MRSA is a serious and growing threat in hospitals and other health care facilities, but this study found 14 percent of patients had no obvious exposure to a health care facility.

MRSA has drawn more attention from the pharmaceutical industry than any of the other ESKAPE bugs. Several new drugs are effective against these infections. However, all but one are given intravenously and are primarily to be used in hospitals. Many patients cannot tolerate these potent drugs. Also, only one drug in the pipeline works using a mechanism different from the ones to which some bad bugs have already developed resistance.

Klebsiella species: These gram-negative bacteria cause infections in the urinary, biliary, and gastrointestinal tracts, and in trauma wounds. Klebsiella species and their
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Contact: Steve Baragona
sbaragona@idsociety.org
703-299-0412
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

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