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Picture of Health story

Treatment of MRSA moves a step closer as potential for vaccine identified

10 November 2009

In a story from 'A Picture of Health 2009' HRB researchers are moving closer to a a vaccine for MRSA.

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria ? of which methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the most well-known ? has become a serious worldwide public health problem. Joan Geoghegan, a PhD student working with a TCD research team led by Professor Tim Foster, has made an important discovery about an antibody which has potential as a treatment for MRSA infection. The antibody blocks fibrinogen binding which, essentially, prevents the bacteria from entering the body.

Professor Foster and his team have also been looking at how the immune system responds to ClfA, a surface protein from the MRSA bacterium. Certain variants of ClfA appear to provoke a stronger immune response and could be potential candidates for an MRSA vaccine. Professor Foster is now in talks with companies who may wish to develop this vaccine commercially.

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