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The Bucs are humbled by an invisible enemy: a bacterium called MRSA

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Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013 12:16 pm | Updated: 12:17 pm, Fri Nov 1, 2013.

Right now, the Tampa Bay Bucs are under siege. No, it’s not by another football team. The Bucs are humbled by an invisible enemy: a bacterium called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Despite sterilization of team facilities and intensive antibiotic treatment of the 2 football players who already have MRSA infections, another one recently contracted it. How is this possible?

Hubris. Drug resistant bacteria resulted from global nonchalance about antibiotic use combined with the unrealistic expectation that newer, better antibiotics will always be developed. Power packed into an invisible punch, these tiny invaders can topple even the most elite athlete. Tampa Bay Bucs Coach Greg Schiano reportedly said the Bucs would do “whatever it's going to take” to solve their MRSA problems.

But our team at Quorum Innovations, Sarasota, FL, already knows “what it’s going to take” because we invented it.

My husband and I founded the biotech company, Quorum Innovations, a few years ago. As an allergist/immunologist, I often see skin and respiratory infections poorly treated by antibiotics. My husband, oculofacial surgeon Dr. Nicholas Monsul, sees his share of drug resistance. After enough frustrating dinnertime conversations about drug resistant infections, we decided to stop observing the growing catastrophe and instead do something about it.

At Quorum Innovations, we know what failed the 3 Bucs players: it was their defense. The players’ microbiota – the benign bacteria colonizing the body – broke down, allowing a pathogen to flourish. Due to skin-on-skin contact and the communal “locker room”, all athletes who participate in contact sports are at risk for MRSA, from Sammy Sosa to the USC football team.But isn’t the best offense a good defense? Extracts created in our lab not only remove MRSA from human body surfaces, they also prevent it from attaching in the first place. No MRSA binding – no disease.

Surely, such potent compounds must be synthetic chemical antibiotics, with potential side effects. But Quorum Innovations’ compounds are not synthetic. In fact, they are not antibiotics. Fighting fire with fire, we developed our extracts from “good bacteria” which normally protect the human body and do not cause antibiotic resistance. Our extracts are actually good for you. Local clinical trials start in early 2014.

Coach, are you listening?

Eva A. Berkes, MD

Chief Scientific Office, Quorum Innovations LLC

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