The University of Nebraska Medical Center was the site this week for a worldwide conference that focused on staph, strep and other deadly bacteria. Dr. Ken Bayles is the Director of the Staph Research Center and says over 200 scientists were in Omaha for the event.
“For a period of three days, we got together and spent about eight hours a day together and talked about new developments and research in these important pathogens.”
This was the third International Conference on Gram-Positive Pathogens. Dr. Bayles says they spent much of the time looking at new developments in treating and ridding the body of these serious infections.
“Remarkable to me. There are some very exciting results. There are no new antibiotics to talk about but there are new targets for the development of new antibiotics. Really promising new targets that one day will lead to new antibiotics that will treat these infections.”
Dr. Bayles says these pathogens are difficult to battle. It appears this bacteria is outsmarting science… for the moment.
“We develop new and improved antibiotics all the time and the bacteria seem to have a way to keep one step ahead of us being resistant to antibiotics which means we have to keep coming up with new antibiotics.”
Dr. Bayles says once staph infections were only common in hospital or other medical settings but that isn’t the case now.
“Wasn’t much of a problem outside in the community for healthy individuals. It was more of a problem with people who had routine surgical procedures, which is still the case but what is scary now is they seem to have acquired the ability to infect healthy individuals starting with something that looks like a minor bug bite, spider bite, and turning into a very nasty staff infection. Soft skin and tissue infection.”
UNMC has the only Center for Staph Research in the country.