Blasting Bacteria

A man-made antibody battles massive infections

One of the gravest threats to anyone severely burned or injured -- or to soldiers wounded in battle -- is massive, system-wide bacterial infection. Such infection with toxic, "gram-negative" bacteria kills up to 100,000 Americans a year, many of them surgical patients and trauma victims. Last week researchers at the University of California at San Diego reported a major victory in the war against these microbes. Using injections of a biotech product called monoclonal antibodies in patients suffering from toxic infections and septic shock, they reduced the expected death rate 40%, in some cases rescuing patients from the brink of death....

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