Temples Department of Emergency Medicine will participate in a nationwide study to pinpoint the best treatment for community-acquired MRSA, an increasingly common, antibiotic-resistant infection.
The objective of this trial is to determine the best outpatient therapy for otherwise healthy people who have MRSA, said David Karras, professor and associate chair of emergency medicine at the School of Medicine and Hospital, who will lead the research efforts at Temple.
There is no information on the optimal treatment for this latest strain, which is resistant to many of the traditional oral antibiotics.
As one of four subcontractors nationwide and the only site in Philadelphia, Temple will receive $1.8 million in funding from the Olive View-UCLA Education and Research Institute, the lead investigator for STOP MRSA*, a $9 million, five-year, five-center trial funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
STOP MRSA will evaluate various treatments for patients with skin and soft tissue infections caused by community-acquired-MRSA. Current treatments for MRSA include a variety of antibiotics and the draining of abscesses, but experts are not yet certain about the most effective treatment.
Karras also noted that another goal of the study is to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the use of generic antibiotics to treat MRSA infections, which would offer patients a low-cost treatment option.
For decades, MRSA was considered an uncommon infection in healthy individuals, said Karras. But by 1996, otherwise healthy children and adults began to get MRSA infections for no apparent reason. Over the next six years, MRSA went from a rare community-associated disease to one of the most common forms of skin infection, he said, adding that many people carry the MRSA bacteria without developing an infection.
MRSA infections generally b
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