[IWAR] HEALTH Resistant strains

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Fri Dec 05 1997 - 10:22:28 PST

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                           Fear of organism that resists drugs
          Copyright ) 1997 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1997 Reuters
       LONDON (December 5, 1997 12:17 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) - Medical
       experts called Friday for special precautions after Japanese doctors
       identified new strains of a superbug with some resistance to the most
       potent antibiotic.
       Dr. Keiichi Hiramatsu and colleagues at Jutendo University in Tokyo
       found a strain of the common infection staphylococcus aureus earlier
       this year -- known by its initials as VRSA -- that did not respond to
       vancomycin, the last line of defense against infection.
       In their latest research, reported in The Lancet medical journal, they
       uncovered more strains of the organism that showed variable resistance
       to the drug.
       "This is a very big warning," Dr. Soad Tabaqchali, a microbiologist at
       St. Bartholomew's & Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, told
       "If this organism spreads, we may find some patients for whom the only
       antibiotics available are ineffective."
       Strains of the so-called MRSA bacteria that are resistant to the
       antibiotic methicillin have been found around the world since the late
       1970s, but doctors have always had another weapon -- vancomycin.
       The discovery of the new strains of VRSA means the new superbug might
       eventually be untreatable.
       Hiramatsu and his team said there is "a need for special precaution to
       limit the spread of VRSA strains," a plea repeated by Tabaqchali.
       "More has to be done regarding detection, infection control and
       antibiotic policies," she said. "We need to reduce usage of these very
       important antibiotics."

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