Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are the most common cause of nosocomial or hospital-acquired infections. However, the incidence of MRSA infections has substantially increased over the last five years in healthy individuals due to the worldwide emergence of a distinct form of MRSA infections known as community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA). CA-MRSA strains appear to have evolved independently of hospital-acquired MRSA (HA-MRSA), causing a different spectrum of symptoms including necrotizing fasciitis and pneumonia in otherwise healthy individuals.
Dartmouth researchers have now found that penicillin binding protein 4 (PBP4) has an unexpected role in CA-MRSA resistance. It has been demonstrated that the β-lactam, cefoxitin, irreversibly binds PBP4 thereby rendering CA-MRSA strains and clinical isolates sensitive to oxacillin. Therefore, in addition to cefoxitin and β-lactams, novel PBP4 inhibitors can be identified and used in the treatment of CA-MRSA. Moreover, based upon the unique sensitivities of CA-MRSA to certain antibiotics as well as the identification of CA-MRSA-specific biomarkers, CA-MRSA infections can now be effectively diagnosed and the selection of appropriate therapeutic strategies can be applied.
This technology is claimed in the published United States Patent Application No. 12/670,457. We are seeking an industrial partner interested in its commercialization. (Ref: J426)
Last Updated: 7/24/12