One of the largest problems in clinical medicine is the growing prevalence of multidrug-resistant, disease-causing strains of Staphylococcus aureus. Penicillin resistance is now extremely common across a spectrum of staph strains, and although a few new antibiotic approaches show promise, the general availability of these new drugs still lies years in the future.

Recently, a collaborative of researchers from the Novartis Vaccines Research Center in Sienna, Italy and the University of Chicago have demonstrated a highly efficacious vaccine for epidemiologically relevant S. aureus strains that combines five conserved antigens known to play different roles in S. aureus pathogenesis. They have published the results of an in vivo study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.