Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Font Size

Drug-Resistant Staph Vaccine in Works

First Steps Toward MRSA Vaccine Show Promise in Tests on Mice
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 30, 2006 -- Scientists are working on a vaccine against drug-resistant staph bacteria such as MRSA.

MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It resists treatment with many antibiotics.

MRSA infections are rising worldwide. It often infects the skin but can also infect the blood, lungs, urinary tract, and other parts of the body.

University of Chicago scientists are targeting staph bacteria -- including MRSA -- with an experimental vaccine.

The vaccine team includes graduate student Yukiko Stranger-Jones and Olaf Schneewind, MD, PhD, of the university's microbiology department.

They describe their early vaccine tests on mice in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tackling a Tricky Foe

Schneewind put the project in perspective in a University of Chicago news release.

"This microbe's ability to acquire the tools it needs to protect itself from the drugs we use to treat it is legendary, which is why a vaccine has become such a high priority," he says.

First, the researchers identified 19 proteins that stud staph bacteria's surface. Next, they built an experimental vaccine that targets those proteins.

Four of those proteins, when bundled together, were the best targets in lab tests on mice.

But vaccinating against individual proteins wasn't much help, the study shows.

Much more work lies ahead before the vaccine is ready for people. But this experiment may be a first step, the researchers note.

Avoiding MRSA

One day, an MRSA vaccine may be available.

Meanwhile, the CDC recommends these steps to guard against MRSA infection:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Cover cuts and scrapes with a clean bandage.
  • Don't touch other people's wounds or bandages.
  • Don't share personal items such as towels or razors.
  • If you share any gym equipment, wipe it down before and after you use it.
  • Dry clothes, sheets, and towels in a dryer. It helps kill bacteria.

Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream