Human Genome Sciences Inc. announced yesterday that it has determined the genomic code of a bacteria that is the third leading cause of infection in hospitals.
The Rockville genomics company said it hopes to strike research collaborations with other companies to develop antibiotics or other treatments to fight the bacteria, Enterococcus faecalis.
The organism is normally found in the intestines, but increasingly is causing urinary tract, surgical wound and abdominal infections during hospitalization.
The company said it is estimated that there are more than 800,000 cases annually of enterococcus infections reported in the United States. The bacteria has become resistant to antibiotics. Human Genome said its scientists have completed sequencing at least 98 percent of the bacteria's genetic blueprint, or genome. About 1,000 of the bacteria's 4,000 genes were determined to be unique, the company said.
Understanding the complete genome of the bacteria should accelerate work on discovery of new antibiotics or vaccines to treat or prevent infection, company officials said.
Pub Date: 5/09/97