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Combating MRSA: Researchers study community-associated strain

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The Caenorhabditis elegans, a small worm called a nematode, scurrying across a Petri dish has helped lead to discoveries about community-associated MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

"In the last year this organism has killed more people in the United States than AIDS," said Kathleen Dannelly, an Indiana State University associate professor of biology leading the community-associated MRSA study. "It's going to get worse."

MRSA identifies a staph infection that is unable to be defeated by most penicillin-based drugs. Community-associated MRSA varies from the hospital-related one, which tends to be a more virulent strain picked up by people admitted to hospitals. Community-associated MRSA can cause toxic shock syndrome or blood and bone infections.

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