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Single-Dose Antibiotic can Treat MRSA

Update Date: Jun 05, 2014 01:43 PM EDT

Researchers are reporting that a new, single-dose antibiotic can effectively treat MRSA, which stands for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. According to the study, a single-dose of the drug, Oritavancin was capable of treating serious skin infections as effectively as the antibiotic treatment most commonly prescribed for these infections.

"Oritavancin is unique in that because of its ability to stay in the body for long periods of time," Dr. Ralph Corey, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Duke University School of Medicine and lead author on the paper, said according to CBS News. "You can be discharged from the ER to go back home and gradually cure the infection over the next seven to 10 days."

MRSA is an infection that can be extremely fatal due to that the fact that it is resistant to many treatments. MRSA is most commonly found in the hospital setting as well as other health care facilities. In this study, the team from Duke University recruited nearly 1,000 patients. 475 patients received the new oritavancin drug while the remaining 479 patients received the antibiotic, vancomycin two times a day for seven to 10 days.

The researchers discovered that one dose of oritavancin was as effective as the vancomycin treatment. Oritavancin was capable of reducing the size of the patients' skin lesions by 20 percent or more within 48 to 72 hours. Overall, the drug cured the patients' skin infection in the same time as vancomycin.

"This is a bit of a light at the end of a dismal tunnel in the development of new antibiotics," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, who was not involved in the new study reported by the New York Times.

The Medicines Company who owns the intravenous version of the drug funded the research. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider the drug's application within six months. The action date for oritavacin will be August 6, 2014.

The study, "Single-Dose Oritavancin in the Treatment of Acute Bacterial Skin Infections," was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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