Vancomycin Resistant S. aureus

John Cherwonogrodzky jcherwon at dres.dnd.ca
Fri Apr 12 17:06:48 EST 1996

Dear Colleagues:
     The CBC "National" did a documentary on antibiotic resistant bacteria, 
and focused on vancomycin resistant S. aureus which is just beginning to 
appear in hospitals (I may have my facts wrong, but I believe that they said 
one hospital had 9% of the cultures as vancomycin resistant.
     Also on the National, Dr. Lowe was interviewed and noted that just as the 
threats of emerging diseases are occurring, we are the least able to defend 
ourselves (e.g. fewer antibiotics are being researched or developed, health 
care is declining, stress and poor nutrition are causing infections to begin 
with). Perhaps another interpretation is that because we are dropping our 
guard, diseases are emerging to take advantage of the slack.
      I'm puzzled. Are the S. aureus strains really resistant to everything? 
The limited research I've done with the fluoroquinolones has impressed me with 
the potency of these antibiotics. Also, cystic fibrosis studies suggest that 
when ciprofloxacin is discontinued, the bugs quickly snap back to quinolone 
sensitivity (its an anti-gyrase, resistance means a compromised DNA folding, 
and the bugs quickly lean toward normal DNA folding).
     My other gripe (my own views and not of the institute I represent nor 
that of my colleagues) is that society reveres the doctors with white coats 
who push useless drugs, but starves graduates or researchers developing the 
cures. Also, a good program would be the positive developments in the fight 
against resistant bugs. Dr. Bob Hancock was on for a few seconds, but his 
alternative drugs looked exciting.
     Take care...John  

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