NIH Announces Discovery of Promising Drug Target to Prevent S. aureus Infections

ScienceDaily February 10, 2013.   National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have identified a promising lead for developing a new type of drug to treat infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus, notable drug-resistant pathogen. They have discovered a transport system for toxins that are thought to contribute to severe staph infections - phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs). The transport system, Pmt, is common to all S. aureus PSMs and critical for bacterial proliferation and disease development in a mouse model. Their experiments suggest that a drug interfering with Pmt’s function could not only prevent production of the PSM toxins, but also directly lead to bacterial death. This research is reported in Nature Medicine.

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