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WASHINGTON, DC-There are new reports that healthcare workers' arch enemy, bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, has just defeated the latest kryptonite thrown it's way. Staph is now resistant to the latest antibiotic introduced just one-year ago.
A new study from Harvard Medical School, printed in The Lancet, reports an 85-year-old dialysis patient became ill with a staph infection in his intestines. When treated with the new drug, Zyvox, his immune system did not respond.
Staph has become resistant to two other powerful drugs during the last decade. Half of all staph infections are now resistant to meticillin, which is considered the standard form of treatment. The bug has also developed armor to survive treatment with vancomycin, another powerful antibiotic. Researchers originally found the super bug was becoming resistant in the early 1980s, but most physicians did not being limiting antibiotic prescriptions until the late 1990s.
Zyvox is a synthetic chemical that was developed to kill bacteria by preventing protein production, therefore limiting growth. Also known as linezolid, it is the first chemical antibiotic to be developed in a group called oxazolidinones.
The bacterium is a nightmare for healthcare workers because it is often the cause of hospital-acquired infections and can causes a plethora of complications-from boils to pneumonia.
In other news, 15 prisoners from Yuma, Arizona are being treated for staph infections. Officials at the state prison have transferred six of the inmates to a state prison in Tucson so they can receive treatment. The other nine are being treated in Yuma. Officials say they are all responding to treatment and there was no word on how the group became infected.
They are, however, suffering from the methicillin resistant form of staph also known as MRSA.
Information from www.arizonarepublic.com, www.msnbc.com