Medicine: Staph Killer

Too sick even to cry, the tiny, four-week-old infant lay limply on its bed in a British hospital Tests of blood and pus samples, drawn from an inflamed abscess on the child's right hip, produced a chilling diagnosis: Staphylococcus aureus, of the dreaded "hospital type,"* which is resistant to penicillin and most antibiotics. With little hope of success, physicians administered massive doses of penicillin and streptomycin. Neither worked, and the child hovered near death. Finally, doctors tried an experimental drug, one so new that it still had no name, bore only a laboratory code...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!