Pneumonia cases that a common antibiotic can't cure are on the rise in the United States. It's part of a global trend: more and more germs are developing ways around the drugs used to treat them. Researchers at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America presented data showing strains of the tough pneumonia germs also cause skin infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Jeff Hageman from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention co-authored the pneumonia study.

He says the hardy germs are striking younger, healthier people than normal. "We're seeing it cause skin disease among athletes, among prison populations, among military recruits, as well as children. We are seeing it also cause community-acquired pneumonia in otherwise healthy adults," he says.

Mr. Hageman says these cases are rare, but doctors need to be aware that the tools they used to use to fight these germs might not work anymore. Other antibiotics are available and may be necessary.