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Vaccine Fails to Prevent Infections in Heart Surgery

A vaccine developed to prevent surgical wounds from infection with Staphylococcus aureus failed to provide benefit to patients, and may actually have increased mortality when compared with placebo, researchers said here.

In the study, 201 of 3,958 patients who were inoculated with the S. aureus vaccine died -- a rate of 5.7 per 100 person/years compared with 177 deaths (5.0 per 100 person/years) among 3,967 patients given placebo (P=0.200), said Vance Fowler Jr., MD, MPH, professor of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C., in his late-breaker oral presentation.

Among patients who developed S. aureus infection, those who were given the vaccination were more likely to develop multiple organ failure -- 0.9 versus 0.5 events per 100 person years (P=0.042).

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