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Hypervirulent Bacteria Strain May Be Next Superbug, Scientists Say

UB researchers are studying a hypervirulent strain of a common bacterium with the potential to become a superbug that is difficult, if not impossible, to treat.

Most antibiotic-resistant bacteria do not infect healthy people. The strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae that UB researchers are investigating could prove an exception.

”In the last 10 to 15 years, this new variant of the bacterium has begun causing community-acquired infection in young, healthy individuals,” says Thomas Russo, MD, professor in the Department of Medicine and head of its Division of Infectious Disease.

“It causes serious, life-threatening, invasive infections and is able to spread to other organs from the initial site of infection.

“If it also becomes highly resistant to antimicrobials, we will have a significant problem to manage.”

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