From the 9 December Science News Daily article
According to the World Health Organization, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the top three threats to human health. Patients in hospitals are especially at risk, with almost 100,000 deaths due to infection every year in the U.S. alone.
Now Dr. Udi Qimron of the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine has developed an efficient and cost-effective liquid solution that can help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria and keep more patients safe from life-threatening infections. The solution is based on specially designed bacteriophages — viruses that infect bacteria — that can alter the genetic make-up of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. “We have genetically engineered the bacteriophages so that once they infect the bacteria, they transfer a dominant gene that confers renewed sensitivity to certain antibiotics,” explains Dr. Qimron.
The solution, recently detailed in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, could be added to common antibacterial cleansers used on hospital surfaces, turning resistant bacteria into sensitive bacteria. It’s easy to prepare, easy to apply, and non-toxic, Dr. Qimron notes. He estimates that one liter of the growth medium — the liquid in which the bacteriophages are grown — will cost just a few dollars.…
Two steps to disarming bacteria
Added to cleansers, Tellurite represents the second step in a two-part process. A Tellurite compound, which is toxic to bacteria, would also be spread on all surfaces to wipe out the bacteria that had not been rendered sensitive, and thus the entire population of the surface bacteria would be sensitized. The combination is designed to first disarm, and then kill dangerous bacteria.
Next, the solution will be tested in pre-clinical animal trials to ensure its safety before being made available for wider use at hospitals…
- Beating superbugs with a high-tech cleanser (eurekalert.org)
- The Danger of Antibiotic Resistance (everydayhealth.com)
- How to Trick Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria into Being Harmless (lockergnome.com)
- Bacteriophages mobilize the antibiotic resistance of bacteria in the environment (sciencedaily.com)
- Drug-Resistant Superbugs Sweeping Across Europe (science.slashdot.org)
- New paper calls for strong steps to tackle antibiotic resistance (eurekalert.org)
- Some Superbugs Are Even More Super Than We Thought | 80beats (blogs.discovermagazine.com)