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VACCINE SHOWN TO PROTECT AGAINST STAPH INFECTIONS

A vaccine has been shown for the first time to protect against life-threatening staph infections, a major hazard among hospital patients, researchers said Tuesday.

The genetically engineered vaccine was tested first in kidney dialysis patients, and it cut their risk of staph blood poisoning in half for nearly a year.

"I am quite encouraged by this. It could be a major breakthrough in this area," said Dr. Steve Black of Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, Calif.

Black presented the results at the annual infectious-disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

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