Nov 29, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - The doctors tried one antibiotic after another, racing to stop the infection as it tore through the man's body, but nothing worked.
In a matter of days after the middle-aged patient arrived at University of Virginia Medical Center, the stubborn bacteria in his blood had fought off even what doctors consider "drugs of last resort."
"It was very alarming; it was the first time we'd seen that kind of resistance," says Amy Mathers, one of the hospital's infectious-disease specialists. "We didn't know what to offer the patient."
The man died three months later, but the bacteria wasn't done. In the months that followed, it struck again and again in the same hospital, in various forms, as doctors raced to decipher the secret to its spread.