Author Interviews, Lancet, MRSA, NIH / 18.01.2023
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Otto PhD Senior Investigator Laboratory of Bacteriology Chief of the Pathogen Molecular Genetics Section NIAID, NIH Bethesda, MD 20814 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Staphylococcus aureus is one the of the most important causes of infectious diseases worldwide. It is known mostly for causing skin infections in the community and as a hospital-associated pathogen. It is in fact the most frequent cause of infections patients acquire in the hospital when they are weakened by underlying diseases or immune-suppressing therapy. The type of infections Staph can cause in these situations are diverse – comprising bone, lung, and blood infections (sepsis) - and can be quite severe and often fatal. Except for moderately severe skin infections that may not require antibiotic treatment, treatment of Staph infections is by antibiotics. S. aureus has naturally been very responsive to penicillin-type antibiotics, but already in the mid of the last century, resistance to penicillin spread worldwide. Then, methicillin was invented to overcome this resistance, but nowadays there also is considerable spread of methicillin-resistant strains (MRSA). The current situation is difficult for two reasons:
- First, S. aureus has become increasingly resistant to many antibiotics, and
- Second, the alternatives to methicillin are often by far not as efficient as penicillin/methicillin against Staph.