Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scientists find a new weapon in MRSA war


MRSA infection is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — often called "staph." MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It's a strain of staph that's resistant to the broad-spectrum antibiotics commonly used to treat it. MRSA can be fatal.

Most MRSA infections occur in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. It's known as health care-associated MRSA, or HA-MRSA. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at most risk of HA-MRSA. More recently, another type of MRSA has occurred among otherwise healthy people in the wider community. This form, community-associated MRSA, or CA-MRSA, is responsible for serious skin and soft tissue infections and for a serious form of pneumonia.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Now for some breaking news:

Northern Ireland scientists find a new weapon in MRSA war
Belfast Telegraph - ‎23 minutes ago‎

A new weapon that could help wipe out the deadly MRSA virus has been developed by researchers from Northern Ireland.

Experts from Queen’s University have discovered new agents that can kill colonies of MRSA and other antiboitic resistant hospital-acquired |infections.

The antimicrobial agents also prevent any growth of the potentially lethal bacteria.

The breakthrough was made by a team of eight researchers from the Queen's University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre led by Brendan Gilmore, a lecturer in Pharmaceutics, and assistant director of QUILL Dr Martyn Earle. The discovery has been published in the |scientific journal, Green Chemistry.

Dr Earle said: “We have shown that, when pitted against the ionic liquids we developed and tested, biofilms offer little or no protection to MRSA, or to seven other infectious microorganisms.

“Our goal is to design ionic liquids with the lowest possible toxicity to humans while wiping out colonies of bacteria that cause hospital acquired infections.”

Many types of bacteria, such as MRSA, exist in colonies that stick to the surfaces of materials. The colonies often form coatings, known as biofilms, which protect them from antiseptics, disinfectant, and |antibiotics.

Ionic liquids, just like the table salt sprinkled on food are salts. They consist entirely of ions — electrically-charged atoms or groups of atoms. Unlike table salt, however, which has to be heated to over 800 degrees celsius to become a liquid, the ionic |liquid antibiofilm agents remain |liquid at the ambient temperatures found in hospitals.

One of the attractions of ionic liquids is the opportunity to tailor their physical, chemical, and biological properties by building specific features into the chemical structures of the positively-charged ions (the cations), and/or the negatively-charged ions (the anions).

Microbial biofilms are not only problematic in hospitals, but can also grow inside water pipes and cause pipe blockages in industrial processes.

Mr Gilmore added: “Ionic liquid based antibiofilm agents could potentially be used for a multitude of medical and industrial applications. For example, they could be used to improve infection control and reduce patient morbidity in hospitals and therefore lighten the financial burden to healthcare providers. They could also be harnessed to improve industrial productivity by reducing biofouling and microbial-induced corrosion of processing systems.”

Here is the link to the original report: MRSA

This is the only report I have found of the story. Will post more information when I find it.

Here is a video that talks about the seriousness of MRSA

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:18 PM   3 comments links to this post


At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Dr Kadiyali M Srivatsa said...

Your title is exciting but the information is not so exciting.

We need to learn how this bacteria can transfer information about how to enzymes block antibiotic action. Biofilm is not the only factor we need to concentrate.

This may contribute but am sure the bacteria are much smarter. It will take years before we learn more about how these bacteria transfer toxic genes to unrelated bacteria, a finding that raises the unsettling possibility that bacterial swapping of toxins and other disease-aiding factors may be more common than previously imagined and learn about plasmid .

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Dr M Sullivan said...

There is a new weapon in the fight against MRSA that is now FDA-cleared and commercially available in the United States. The Microcyn® Technology (www.oculusis.com/us/technology) is a safe-as-saline anti-infective that quickly eradicates a broad range of pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria (including MRSA and VRE), viruses, fungi and spores. Dual-action in nature, in addition to killing the infection, the Microcyn also accelerates the wound-healing process by reducing inflammation in the wound and increasing nutrient-rich blood and oxygen flow to the wound bed. It also penetrates biofilms. Twenty-five clinical studies have demonstrated Microcyn to be both safe and effective in killing pathogens. There’s an excellent doctor discussion of this new technology at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAiWWNCfYH4

At 2:36 PM, Blogger EBPickle said...

Plasmid transfer of genes between bacteria is well known and has been the subject of thousands of publications. One of the most important and threatening aspects of bacterial biofilms is that co-operative activities such as genetic transfer is facilitated. In any case the transfer of genetic factors which contribute to virulence and resistance isn't just via plasmid transfer - bacteria take up genes and plasmids from their dead, lysed neighbours. Biofilms are implicated in over 80% infectious diseases, so they are very important. This study is aimed at reducing bioburdens within healthcare facilities.


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