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Small Outbreak of Zyvox-Resistant MRSA

Spanish Hospital Has Cases of MRSA That Won't Respond to Antibiotic of Last Resort

Zyvox-Resistant MRSA Outbreak continued...

One of "the message[s] is that we were capable of controlling [the outbreak] relatively quickly," Sanchez says.

The cluster of cases should serve as another reminder not to take antibiotics unless they are absolutely needed, says Robert Daum, MD, of the University of Chicago. Resistance to Zyvox "has been very infrequent" in the eight years since it came on the market, he tells WebMD. But "the [bug] will figure out this drug if it's exposed to it."

Experimental Drugs Fight MRSA

In other research presented at the meeting, the experimental antibiotic ceftaroline cured skin infections caused by MRSA in 95% of patients. That was the same success rate observed with the older combination of the antibiotics vancomycin and aztreonam. All the treatments were given intravenously.

"Most of the patients came into the study with wounds or abscesses. After treatment, their infection was cured," says Tanya Baculik, MD, of Cerexa Inc., a division of Forest Labs. Forest Labs funded the study.

Ceftaroline fights bugs other than MRSA, too. "Most other common pathogens are also killed" by the drug, she tells WebMD.

The study pitted ceftaroline against vancomycin plus aztreonam in about 700 patients. The portion of people who experienced side effects was similar in both groups.

The data will be submitted to the FDA in an effort to gain marketing approval for the new drug in the near future, according to Baculik.

In a second study, the experimental drug PTK 0796 wiped out MRSA infections in 98% of patients, compared with 93% of those treated with Zyvox.

There were no serious adverse events associated with use of the new drug, says Robert Arbeit, MD, of Paratek Pharmaceuticals in Boston. Paratek makes the drug and sponsored the research.

The study involved 188 people with MRSA who were given either PTK 0796 or Zyvox intravenously for four days and then orally for about six days.

The next step is a larger study pitting PTK 0796 against Zyvox, says Paratek.

The antibiotic Iclaprim also proved effective against skin infections caused by MRSA and other bugs, other research showed. It cured infections in 93% of patients vs. 98% of those given Zyvox.

The intravenous drug, which is currently awaiting FDA review, was studied in about 1,000 patients. Manufacturer Arpida AG of Reinach, Switzerland, funded the work.

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