"The genie is out of the bottle…"

Nightmare scenario of antibiotic resistance has arrived, experts say.

“Medical experts have long described it as the nightmare scenario of antibiotic resistance: the day when staphylococcus aureus, cause of some of the most common and troublesome infections to afflict man, becomes resistant to the antibiotic arsenal’s weapon of last resort, vancomycin.

The nightmare scenario has arrived. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has announced the first confirmed case of vancomycin-resistant staph aureus – known in the medical world as VRSA – found last month in a Michigan man …

The news leaves experts… bleakly contemplating a future in which common staph aureus infections won’t be treatable with any antibiotics – which was the case before the discovery of penicillin changed modern medicine. Prior to penicillin, many surgical procedures which now routinely save lives would have been too dangerous because of the risk of infection.

Penicillin is now nearly useless against staph aureus; overuse of the drug fuelled resistance, a process in which the rapidly evolving bug simply learns how to evade the drug’s fire power.” National Post (Toronto) [via David Brake]