NYU Langone study shows why hospital-acquired MRSA is so deadly, paves way for vaccine

Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center have revealed why one strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — known as hospital-acquired MRSA, or HA-MRSA — is more deadly than other strains.

Following a series of laboratory experiments in mice and in human immune cells, the research team discovered the major difference between HA-MRSA and its less deadly cousin, community-acquired MRSA, comes down to whether a set of dueling toxins are present or absent.

The study specifically found that LUK-PV, a bacterial poison secreted only by CA-MRSA, counteracts the effects of another more deadly toxin called LUK-ED, which is secreted by both forms of the MRSA bacterium.

"Essentially, in community-acquired MRSA, the toxins neutralize each other, while in the hospital superbug form, they do not," explained Victor Torres, PhD, the study's senior investigator and an NYU Langone microbiologist.

According to Dr. Torres, the results of the study challenge the current mindset for finding a vaccine against staphylococcal infections and, in doing so, pave the way to develop an effective vaccine.



More articles on MRSA:
MRSA infections become increasingly common among school-aged children
25 things for healthcare CFOs to know about HAIs
Which 9 hospitals reported zero C. diff and MRSA infections?

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