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Mercy, Mercy, MRSA

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Science Life

In her 2010 book, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA, author and self-proclaimed “disease geek” Maryn McKenna charted the steady advance of a treatment-resistant organism which she referred to as a “crisis in many dimensions.” MRSA illustrates “failures of science, failures of the marketplace, and failures of support for research and innovation,” McKenna wrote.

Since she wrote that, there have been successes, but in the overall story of MRSA, things have not improved much. Long known only as a hospital-acquired infection often preying on the infirm, MRSA – short for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – now sickens previously healthy people who have not been near a hospital. These community-associated MRSA infections, first described in 1998, are not susceptible to many standard antibiotics. Although most can be treated by in a doctor’s office or in an emergency department, many require hospitalization.

MRSA may not, at the moment, generate the wall-to-wall…

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