Staph Vaccine Cuts Risks

February 22, 2002

WASHINGTON, DC-A report recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a vaccine could prevent staphylococcus infections, which are responsible for killing 40,000 Americans annually.

With 40% of staph strains resistant to antibiotics, scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a vaccine to fight these potent pathogens. The immune response lasts only a few months, but researchers are reporting that out of 1,798 end stage kidney disease patients receiving dialysis, the vaccine protected 57% from infection. Such patients are at a heightened risk for developing an infection because they are constantly having their skin punctured for treatment.

The vaccine is slated to be used by patients facing major surgeries, such as heart surgery and joint replacement. Test participants have not reported any major side effects; the vaccine is expected to be on the market within two years.

Information from www.msnbc.com