Staph: The NOse Have It

A paper published in Science sheds light on why Staphylococcus aureus so successfully colonizes nasal passages and points to a new target, lactate dehydrogenase, for blocking this pathogen before it can cause systemic infection.1 But some companies are cautious about targeting S. aureus in the nose and about inhibiting bacterial lactate dehydrogenase, given the potential for interference with the human version of the enzyme.

One in three people harbors quiescent staph in the nasal cavities and passages. But in immunocompromised individuals the bacteria can thrive and spread systemically, causing septicemia and toxic shock syndrome. In addition, virulent, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains, which shrug off many widely used antibiotics, have become pervasive and thus a growing public health threat.2

The Sciencestudy, from a University of Washington team led by Ferric

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