EARLIER THIS year, Japanese researchers fired a shot heard around the microbiological world with their announcement of the emergence of a vancomycin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus. Within months, the longfeared scenario repeated itself, as researchers in Michigan and New Jersey documented 2 more patients with nosocomial S aureus infections that also showed resistance against the drug considered the last uniformly effective antibiotic against this bacterium for serious infections.
These cases and other worrisome trends in the emergence of antibiotic resistance in various bacterial pathogens, described at a recent American Society for Microbiology (ASM)-sponsored meeting of infectious disease experts in Toronto, Ontario, are heightening concern that strains of "superbugs" could bring back the therapeutic impotence of preantibiotic days.
Sentry Sounds an Alarm
Early data from the first 7 months (March to mid September of this year) from a new global program designed to track epidemiologie trends in bacterial infections and antimicrobial