Dr. Henry Chambers from the University of California, San Francisco briefs the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus on “Germs We Cannot Always Kill: Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).” MRSA is a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other infections. Staphylococcus aureus or S. aureus, a pathogenic species, can be present on a third of all individuals, the vast majority of whom will not become infected. S. aureus bacterial infections can range in severity from relatively trivial skin infections to highly invasive and lethal bloodstream infections, both in community and healthcare settings.
Watch as Dr. Chambers discusses how gene transfers play a central role in S.aureus’ emergence from a harmless bacterium to a virulent, antibiotic-resistant strain. He’ll discuss how S. aureus has acquired numerous factors that enable it to evade, circumvent, or disrupt host immune responses. Similarly, under the pressure of antibiotics, it inevitably has acquired resistance. This resistance has had a profound impact on therapy as clinicians are being forced to use less effective and more toxic agents instead of antibiotics, the mainstay of therapy for half a century.