Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was responsible for an estimated 94,000 life-threatening infections and 18,650 deaths in 2005, CDC researchers report in the Oct. 17 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. That same year, roughly 16,000 people in the U.S. died from AIDS, according to CDC figures.
MRSA infections are blamed on the failures of antibiotics. Dr. Nafsika Georgopapadakou, Editor-in-Chief of Drug Resistance Updates, believes MRSA is similar to a slow moving hurricane, gathering strength and resistance as it spreads. "Once the 'superbug' hits a community or hospital," asks Dr. Georgopapadakou, "are populations ready to cope?"
Dr. Georgopapadakou believes a different approach is necessary in treating the rapidly increasing infectious microbes that have become resistant to our current slate of drugs among them is a new class of drugs called aganocides, a non-antibiotic, anti-microbial based one white blood cells. Topic for discussion includes:
- What is MRSA and how does it attack the body?
- Why is the infection so widespread in hospitals, gyms, nursing homes, schools, and other community centers?
- How and why have certain infections become drug resistant?
- Why aren't conventional methods working to stop MRSA?
- Are we responsible for the rise of superbugs?
- Why it may be time to phase out antibiotics
- What are some promising approaches to eradicating these superbugs?
Dr. Nafsika Georgopapadakou was a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University from 1995 to 1997. She received a B.A. in chemistry from Mills College and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Yale University, and was a Research Fellow in biology at Harvard University and has published over seventy articles, is a frequent speaker at anti-infective conferences. She is also VP of Research at Emeryville-based NovaBay Pharma.