is a gram+ bacteria commonly found in farm animals & humans,
                      especially, on skin & in nasal passages.    [pic & Science cover]
                      when cultured in lab it's intensely yellow (Latin: aureus = "gold")
    in susceptible hosts: neonates, immunologically suppressed, & surgical patients
        Staph can cause serious (often lethal) noscomial (acquired in hospital) infections
                   including: pneumonia, endocarditis, toxic shock, & sepsis (lethal)

    Gram+ indicates a bacterial capsule is present, but until 1980's carbohydrates
              couldn't be identified in Staph.  In 1989 Walter Karakowa (PSU) had
              identified 2 isolates of Staph that accounted for 85% of all infections.

    Using some carbohydrates from these isolates John Robbins (NIH) in 1990
              made a conjugate vaccine
(CH2O + protein complex) to trick T-cells
              into thinking it was an antigen to Staph.  Trials indicated some success
              with this Staph vaccine, but many were skeptical... Would any antibodies
              made with this vaccine protect against future infections?





    In 1996, a mouse model was created by Ali Fattom (Nabi Corporation of Boca Raton), in
               which the conjugate vaccine protected mice against lethal injections of Staph.

    A short while later, when tried on a rat infection endocarditis model, the vaccine also worked.

    Human trials (late 1999) in patients on hemodialysis and in end stage renal failure
                (patients with high Staph infection rates) showed a statically significant
                lowered infection rate
(only 11 of 892 vaccinated patients). However,
                antibody titer in these patients dropped in only 10 months.
    Human trials on patients awaiting surgery have been successful
                and in 2004 Nabi has
filed a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) with the
                European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA)

                Staph-VAX (in stage I FDA trials) has the potential to be a very effective antibiotic
                against Staph infections in an era when anitbiotic-resistance threatens medicine.