Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA), the youngest group of S. aureus dragons, has learned to evade methicillin’s backup, vancomycin. The first VRSA army assembled in 2002, when a MRSA liege and a band of Enterococcus faecalis crossed paths in a nearby land. By way of an autonomous messenger, some of the E. faecalis army slipped their antidote to vancmycin’s toxins to the buddies they’d made in the MRSA group, and a whole new breed of S. aureus was born—one that could resist the attacks of both methicillin and vancomycin, two of the most effective Apothecaries fighting for Soma.
Fortunately, VRSA attacks are still rare, and there are only about 10 known VRSA armies out there. VRSA’s little brother VISA (for vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus) is also a threat, however, albeit another relatively rare one. These dragons have thicker skin that resists vancomycin’s ability to penetrate it and kill the beast it encases. VISA not only threaten to inflict direct damage to Soma, they also serve to confuse the Apothecary Army, which needs a thorough understanding of the Pestilence agents’ vulnerabilities to launch an effective counterattack. When both MRSA and VRSA infections are present, Apothecary strategizing can become nearly impossible.
Thus, while VRSA and VISA attacks on Soma are still infrequent, they have the potential to be the first Lords of Pestilence to finally outwit the Apothecary Army. And as more and more VRSA armies are assembled, the scales of battle might well start to tip away from the good, headed directly toward evil.