Philippe R. S. Lagacé-Wiens, MD, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, and his colleagues presented the results of a study at the 50th Annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). He and his group observed that there has been a significant rise in the vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) for Staphylococcus aureus in Canada over the last few years. Similar trends of Vancomycin MIC creep have been observed in the United States and United Kingdom over the past decade, laying grounds for concern about the potential development of new forms of S. aureus that are completely resistant to Vancomycin.
Researchers are keeping a watchful eye to Vancomycin resistance given that this powerful intravenous delivered drug has long been considered the antibiotic of last resort. While researchers such as Dr. Lagacé-Wiens are tracing the rise of resistance, there is a growing concern over the lack of alternative antibiotics due to the billion dollar price tags and decade long development time horizons. Without a doubt, this observation by the University of Manitoba group should be seen as a call to action within Canada.