New drug 'can kill MRSA'

New drug 'can kill MRSA'
MRSA cells

Scientists believe they have found an alternative to antibiotics which could be used to combat superbugs such as MRSA.

A small test study suggested the new drug, an enzyme that solely targets the bacteria in MRSA, was effective against the infection with scientists claiming the likelihood of the bug becoming resistant was “very limited”.

Dutch biotech firm Micreos presented the findings at the EuroSciCon meeting, called Antibiotics Alternatives for the New Millenium, in London yesterday.

Micreos CEO Mark Offerhaus hailed it as a “new era in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria” and said “millions of people stand to benefit”.

MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a potentially deadly bacteria which causes serious infections of the skin, blood, lungs and bones, is resistant to antibiotics and poses a serious hazard in hospitals and nursing homes.

Politicians and scientists have warned of the need to find a cure for infections that have become resistant, with David Cameron this year stating it was a “very real and worrying threat” that could send medicine “back into the dark ages”.

The new drug, Staphefekt, is based on naturally occurring enzymes called endolysins, which are found in viruses and kill bacteria in a different way to antibiotics.

In one observational study, Staphefekt killed MRSA in five out of six people suffering skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.

Clinical biologist Dr Bjorn Herpers told the conference: “The results are exciting, and demonstrate the potential this technology has to revolutionise the way we treat certain bacterial infections.

“With the increasing prevalence of multi-drug-resistant bacteria, new strategies for the treatment of bacterial infections are needed.

“As well as being less prone to resistance induction than antibiotics, endolysins (enzymes) destroy only their target bacterial species, leaving the beneficial bacteria alone.”

The firm is to conduct clinical trials of Staphefekt and is looking to expand them internationally.

More on this topic

Dublin researchers reveal superbug breakthroughDublin researchers reveal superbug breakthrough

Limerick academics develop anti-MRSA textilesLimerick academics develop anti-MRSA textiles

Sligo scientists in superbug discovery

State may face €500m bill for MRSA pay-outs

More in this Section

Trump resort chosen to host next year’s G7 summitTrump resort chosen to host next year’s G7 summit

Extinction Rebellion expresses ‘sadness’ over Tube stunt fall-outExtinction Rebellion expresses ‘sadness’ over Tube stunt fall-out

EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’EU envoy ‘disagreed with Trump’s order on Ukraine policy’

Duckenfield had opportunity to change Hillsborough match plans, court toldDuckenfield had opportunity to change Hillsborough match plans, court told


Sexual politics, snideput-downs and family rivalries are fuelling the trouble brewing in a small Midlands town.Charlie Murphy and Pat Shortt star in new Irish film 'Dark lies the Island'

Robert Hume tells of the eccentric MP for Athboy, Co. Meath – born 300 years ago this month – who thought he was a teapot, and was afraid his spout might break off.A strange brew of a man: The MP for Meath who believed he was a teapot

Ladysbridge and District Flower and Garden Club will meet on Monday at 8pm in Garryvoe Hotel.Gardening Notes: Your one-stop guide to the week's events

Don’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter, urges Hannah StephensonDon’t forget to lavish roses with the attention they deserve this winter

More From The Irish Examiner