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Antibiotics Might Team Up to Fight Deadly Staph Infections

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Israel's Weizman Institute of Science have found that two antibiotics working together might be more effective in fighting pathogenic bacteria than either drug on its own.

Individually, lankacidin and lankamycin, two antibiotics produced naturally by the microbe streptomyces, are marginally effective in warding off pathogens, says Alexander Mankin, professor and associate director of the UIC Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and lead investigator of the portion of the study conducted at UIC.

Mankin's team found that when used together, the two antibiotics are much more successful in inhibiting growth of dangerous pathogens such as MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and possibly others.

MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to certain antibiotics. According to a 2007 government report, more than 90,000 Americans get potentially deadly infections each year.

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