BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A bacteria which acts as a new antibiotic was discovered in the human nose. The finding could lead to doctors winning the battle with antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
A superbug is a term coined by the press to describe bacteria which doesn’t respond to the use of multiple antibiotics. These bacteria become antibiotic resistant, and they increase the chances of worsening the infection in the hospital or even death.
A big proportion of hospital-acquired infections happens because of highly resistant bacteria, like the methicillin-resistant “Staphylococcus aureus”, in short MRSA. People who get infected with MRSA are 64 percent more exposed to death than individuals with a regular form of the infection.
A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the MRSA infections in hospitals and healthcare centers are fortunately decreasing.
MRSA is spread by skin to skin contact with an infected wound or from contaminated hands. Research revealed that two in every hundred people have the MRSA in their nose, showing no signs of infection and can spread the bacteria around.
Experts at the University of Tubingen in Germany, believe the human body is a little-explored resource for new drugs. So far, most antibiotics have been discovered in soil bacteria, but the University of Tubingen team decided to observe the human body.
Our bodies are a battleground for rival species of bacteria. This means our bodies sometimes produce our own helpers against harmful bacteria, and these helpers sometimes look like antibiotics.
One of the bugs that live in our noses is the Staphylococcus Aureus, and it sometimes includes a MRSA superbug strain. 30 percent of people have it.
Other people, about 10 percent, have a rival bug, called Staphylococcus Lugdunensis in their nostrils, which counters the S. Aureus. So the team of German experts genetically manipulated the S. Lugdunensis to see what kind of genetic code it had, to fight off other harmful bacteria in the nose.
That’s how they produced a new antibiotic, called lugdunin. Mice tests showed that lugdunin could be used to cure superbug infections.
This new source of antibiotics is very welcome, as patients are not responding to the medicines that are currently in use. The team’s conclusions support the hypothesis that the human body has disease-fighting microbes of its own.
Image Source – Wikipedia