New Approach Blocks Staph Infections

Research supported by the National Institutes of Health has blocked staph infections in mice, and coming human trials will show whether it solves an worrisome trend: a staph bacterium that is increasingly resistant to antibiotics. The new approach, using a drug that had been tested in clinical trials as a cholesterol-lowering agent, was described in the February 14 online edition of Science.

"By following their scientific instinct about a basic biological process, the researchers made a surprising discovery with important clinical implications," said NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. "Although the results are still very preliminary, they offer a promising new lead for developing drugs to treat a very timely and medically important health concern."

This work was supported by three NIH units: the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. NIH explains that a pigment turns Staphylococcus aureus golden and acts as an antioxidant to block the reactive oxygen molecules the immune system uses to kill bacteria. The researchers theorized that blocking pigment formation in staph may restore the immune system's ability to thwart infection. Reading a magazine on microbial research in 2005, Eric Oldfield, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign read how University of California, San Diego researchers knocked out a gene in staph's pigment-making pathway to create colorless, less pathogenic bacteria. "I looked at the metabolic pathway and noticed that it was similar to the one for the production of cholesterol in humans," said Oldfield, who is the senior author of the Science paper. Colleagues at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles tested eight different drug compounds and found three blocked pigment production in laboratory tests. When the researchers treated mice infected with aureus with one of the compounds, the bacterial population was reduced by 98 percent.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue