A gene in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria that confers multidrug resistance faces only a low barrier to spreading, according to a new study published in a scientific journal Tuesday.
The gene, called cfr, carries a slight "fitness cost" in the absence of the antibiotics it protects against, according to the paper, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. Researchers performing the study included scientists at Trius Therapeutics, a San Diego company now conducting clinical trials of a drug effective against MRSA, including strains including the cfr gene.
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"Low Fitness Cost of the Multidrug Resistance Gene cfr" (http://aac.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/55/8/3714)