Q&A: Finding New Ways to Beat Staph Infections

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More about Staphs!

Science Life

On Monday I wrote about Jack Gilbert’s Hospital Microbiome Project to track how bacteria grow in a new hospital building. If you’re wondering why he and his team are so interested in doing this, it’s because they’re up against bugs like Staphylococcus aureus. Better known as staph, it’s one of the leading causes of infections in hospitals. Staph accounts for nearly 20,000 deaths in the United States each year, and some estimates place the cost of its impact on the health care system at $15 billion a year in the United States alone.

As different strains of staph evolve and become increasingly resistant to common antibiotics, such as penicillin, researchers are looking for new ways to treat these infections. Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology, published a recent study in the Journal of Infectious Disease about a cell receptor called…

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