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Health Agencies Update
December 26, 2007

MRSA Defenses Found

JAMA. 2007;298(24):2858. doi:10.1001/jama.298.24.2858-b

Scientists have identified a key set of proteins that enable community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to evade the immune system.

The research by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Mont, may help to explain why and how community-acquired strains of the bacteria can cause severe infections and even death in otherwise healthy individuals (Wang R et al. Nat Med. doi: 10.1038/nm1656 [published online ahead of print November 11, 2007]). Hospital-acquired strains typically cause disease in individuals who are immune-compromised or have other risk factors.

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