Staphylococcus aureus is probably the most important bacterial pathogen affecting the public health of Americans. Staph is the leading cause of pus-forming skin and soft tissue infections, the leading cause of infectious heart disease, the number one hospital-acquired infection, and one of the four leading causes of food-borne illness. MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staph aureus, is a highly virulent form of the infection, and accounts for more deaths annually in the US than HIV/AIDS. And of course the spread of MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections is becoming a major public health crisis in America.
Joining us by phone on this edition of Focus in Sound, my guest, Dr. Eric Skaar, is fighting back. He was named an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund in 2006. Much of his lab’s research concentrates on Staph aureus, and he and his team have come up with some important new knowledge about Staph and the host-pathogen int