Saturday, August 20, 2016
New MRSA Drug Found In Novel Location - Snot
This may sound strange but it’s snot funny, it’s an exciting potential new source of critically needed antibiotics which has already yielded a way to combat MRSA, a hospital acquired infection which probably kills 100,000 people each year worldwide - 10,000 just in the U.S.
The need for new antibiotics is desperate because overuse and misuse has rendered many drugs useless resulting in killer infections such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which is the target of lugdunin a new drug emerging from, of all things, human snot.
The new drug which appears to be very effective against MRSA is actually produced by another strain of Staphylococcus, unsurprisingly known as S lugdunin.
What is really novel about this drug is where it is found, right in the human body, specifically the nose.
This happened because the nasal passages are actually not a very hospitable environment for bacteria so those which dwell there, including both strains of Staphylococcus, which battle it out for living space.
Researchers knew that about one-third of people have S. aureus in their noses so they wondered why the other two-thirds don’t and it turns out that S. lugdunin produces a chemical which kills the MRSA infection.
(Although S aureus is extremely common, which is why it is often found in hospital settings, it seldom gains a fatal foothold in humans unless they are sick and hence in hospitals.)
“We’ve found a new concept of finding antibiotics,” Andreas Peschel, a bacteriologist at the University of Tübingen in Germany, said on Tuesday at the EuroScience Open Forum, a biennial science and policy meeting. “We have preliminiary evidence at least in the nose that there is a rich source of many others, and I’m sure that we will find new drugs there.”
Peschel and bacteriologist Bernhard Krismer discovered the new drug while looking at why one bacteria predominated in some people and not others.See the complete report in a recent issue of Science Magazine, one of the peer-reviewed science journals of the AAAS.