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News of World Medicine

Scientists work on creation of the vaccine against antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

American specialists from Medical Centre of Rochester University have made an important step on the way to develop a vaccine against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - Staphylococcus species resistant to the action of most known antibiotics, which makes treatment of the diseases induced by this bacterium impossible. 

Until now scientists could not find the agent that was able to break through the "armour" of these deadly dangerous bacteria. Edward Schwartz and his colleagues were the first who found antibodies that were able to penetrate through the membrane and stop the reproduction of the microorganisms, so far only in mice and in cell cultures.

Staphylococcosis infection is the main reason of osteomyelitis (a disease that is an inflammation of bone marrow, usually spread to all layers of the bone), up to have of which cases are associated with MRSA, especially with the strain known as superbug ("superbacterium") due to its resistance to antibiotics. MRSA caused about 500,000 cases of hospitalization and 19,000 cases of death annually only in the United States. In spite of improvement of surgical methods and certain success in prevention, osteomyelitis is expected to become even a more serious problem in future, when people will live longer and resort to reconstructive surgery more often. Infecting with MRSA is the most spread complication in operations of this kind. 

Specialists have supposed that the best way to fight MRSA lies in attacking glycosaminidase – the protein that plays a role of such kind of a zipper, which becomes disjointed and breaks the impermeable coating of the bacterium at its division. When glycosaminidase is absent, Staphylococcus aureus cannot reproduce effectively, which decreases the possibility of infecting significantly. 

During the investigation specialists have managed to find four monoclonal antibodies with the required abilities. As Staphylococci grow rather fast, with broken membrane they cannot divide and just burst.

Mr. Schwartz and his colleagues note that the vaccine produced on the basis of this approach will not become an absolute solution of this problem. At the same time, according to their words, decrease of the risk of infecting even by 35% will be an important step ahead.


Adopted from: Eurolab