Posting in Science
Researchers developed a drug that can treat MRSA without killing the bacteria. This could change the fight against superbugs.
Scientists are desperate to find drugs to fight superbugs like Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
But what happens if the infection becomes serious in the body?
Right now, our best line of defense to kill off the bacteria is taking antibiotics. There are only two antibiotics — vancomycin and linezolid — that can fight the infection and they aren't even full proof.
The MRSA infections are becoming a problem as bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. About 20,000 people die from MRSA infections each year.
MRSA produces toxins that are released into the blood and this is what causes sometimes deadly infections.
Case Western Reserve researchers developed an anti-pathogenic drug to treat MRSA . The drug works by blocking MRSA from producing toxins. This way, you can treat MRSA without actually killing the bacteria.
"Staph bacteria are ubiquitous and normally do not cause infections, however, occasionally these bacteria become harmful due to their secretion of toxins," Case Western Reserve's professor Menachem Shoham said in a statement.
The key was preventing a molecule called AgrA from releasing toxins. The professor looked for compounds to inhibit it, so he screened 90,000 compounds. Seven of those worked.
The anti-pathogenic drugs might change they way we fight bacteria in the body. The way we currently treat the infection makes it a prime place for bacteria to want to fight for survival. The side effect of that is the eventual resistance to the drugs. This new type of drug would sidestep that urge and keep the bacteria at bay.
Photo Credit: Janice Haney, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Related on SmartPlanet:
- War against superbugs: A coating that can kill MRSA upon contact
- New antibiotics might come from the brains of cockroaches
- The fight for life against superbugs
Sep 17, 2010
"The MRSA infections are becoming a problem as antibiotics become resistant to the bacteria." The bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics. English or biology problems here.
Rather than wasting space and my time as I have to scroll past your nit-picking comments why not just use the direct message link on the left to let Boonsri know she's goofed. As for the development itself, I'm thrilled that there's finally some successful attempts to approach this from a different direction. It's true that we coexist quite peacefully with quite a host of biological critters (that's a technical term you know ;p). It makes sense to me to try to find a way to make these misbehaving bugs harmless rather that trying to kill them all off. We've certainly seen how futile it is to try to eradicate a life form that outnumbers us by magnitudes and is seemingly as adaptable as we are in finding a way to survive.
Wow this author clearly does not know much about MRSA. "There are currently only two antibiotics that can fight the infection"? Are you nuts??? There are almost a dozen now! I have had MRSA for almost four years and there are actually 3 separate categories of MRSA treatment antibiotics. I'm very curious and will keep my eye out on the development of this drug because it sounds promising.
"The MRSA infections are becoming a problem as antibiotics become resistant to the bacteria." Should be "The MRSA infections are becoming a problem as bacteria become resistant to the antibiotics."