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Internal News - 24 September 2008

University to host international meeting on ‘superbugs’

The Department of Biology & Biochemistry has been selected to host a large international symposium on the ‘superbug’ MRSA in 2010. It will be the first time this meeting will be held in the UK.

The International Symposium on Staphylococci & Staphylococcal Infections (ISSSI) is held biannually and brings together scientists and clinicians to tackle the growing problem associated with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus in its antibiotic-resistant form is more commonly known as the MRSA superbug and is a major cause of both community- and hospital-acquired infections with approximately two per cent of admitted patients becoming infected in UK hospitals.

The emergence of MRSA in hospitals is a persistent problem worldwide, but more worryingly such strains are now emerging in community settings amongst previously healthy people. This is of growing concern due to the shortage of antibiotics available to treat such infections.

The symposium programme will cover a diverse range of subjects on staphylococcal research including pathogenesis, genome and gene regulation, drug resistance, molecular epidemiology, clinical and infection control issues, and therapeutics.

More than 500 delegates from around the world are expected to attend the week-long conference which will be held in Bath in association with the University.