Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci: therapeutic realities and possibilities

Lancet. 1997 Jun 28;349(9069):1901-6. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(96)11192-2.


During the past decade much effort has been devoted worldwide to limiting the spread of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. However, the recent emergence of almost untreatable vancomycin-resistant enterococci has led to a new and unexpected public health problem in hospitals and the community. Moreover, the threat of transfer of glycopeptide resistance to S aureus means that development of alternative antimicrobial strategies has become urgent. Whereas major advances have been made in our understanding of methicillin and vancomycin resistance mechanisms, we still need to identify the sources and reservoirs of the genetic determinants of resistance and to discover how they disseminate in the environment. The outcome of the battle between antimicrobials and bacteria is still uncertain, but the challenge is worth meeting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple / genetics
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use
  • Enterococcus / drug effects*
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Methicillin Resistance* / genetics
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / genetics
  • Vancomycin / pharmacology*
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Vancomycin