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UCLA researchers awarded $9M contract for study identifiying antibiotic treatment for MRSA

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a UCLA research team a five-year, $9 million contract to fund a multicenter study investigating antibiotic treatments for MRSA, a staph infection seen increasingly in communities across the nation that is resistant to antibiotics most commonly used to treat skin infections.

The study, to be led by co-principal investigators Dr. David A. Talan and Dr. Gregory J. Moran, both of Olive ViewUCLA Medical Center and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, will explore whether various off-patent antibiotics for the treatment of uncomplicated skin and soft tissue infections may be effective in treating MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Off-patent medications are those whose patents have expired, allowing any manufacturer to produce them.

The emergence of the new, potentially more infectious and virulent strain of S. aureus in the community, referred to as community-associated or CAMRSA, has caused serious outbreaks of disease over the past few years, said Talan, a professor of medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine and chief of emergency medicine and professor of infectious diseases at Olive ViewUCLA. We are hopeful to be able to identify the most effective antibiotic treatment for these infections.

Last year, the research team reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that CA-MRSA had become the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections among patients presenting to a geographically diverse group of 11 emergency departments across the nation. Researchers tested MRSA resistance to antibiotics in a test tube and found that in 57 percent of cases, doctors had prescribed an antibiotic to which the bacteria were resistant. Finding certain antibiotics ineffective against MRSA in a laboratory setting, however, does not necessarily mean they will fail in patients, who have the help of thei
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-0777
University of California - Los Angeles
9-Aug-2007


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