Researchers create potential new way to fight superbugs

caption arrowCaption
CDC identifies2 deadly superbugs.The report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta focuses on five antibiotic-resistant infections, or "superbugs.".The report states that overall, antibiotic resistant superbugs have killed more than twice the number of people than previously speculated. .In 2017, one such infection, C. difficile, caused almost 250,000 hospitalizations and resulted in almost 13,000 deaths."We also need new vaccines, new diagnostics and other new tools to help doctors better treat their patients or better prevent infections in the first place."- Michael Craig, CDC Advisor, via CBS News.The report does state that since 2013, deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections have fallen by 18 percent.It's likely that the over-prescribing of antibiotics has led to the new superbugs.The CDC states that antibiotics are not recommended to fight virusessuch as the flu and the common cold

World Health Organzation has declared antimicrobial resistance to be a top 10 global public health threat

Hearing “superbug” scares a lot of people. No one likes to think about a multidrug-resistant bacteria.

Researchers from Monash University in Australia have discovered a potential new way to prevent antibiotic resistance, however, possibly turning the tables on superbugs.

ExploreCDC: Deadly drug-resistant superbug jumping from person to person

Antimicrobial resistance — which the World Health Organzation has declared to be a top 10 global public health threat — occurs when pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites) change over time and no longer respond to medicines. Consequently, infections become increasingly difficult or impossible to treat.

The study, published in Nature Communications, found the use of nanoparticles in combination with other antibiotics is an effective strategy to improve bacterial killing.

“This is a stunning finding in how we deliver medicine and how the medicine we take impacts us in the future,” lead researcher Dr. Hsin-Hui Shen said in a release by the university.

Shen, of the Monash University Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and professor Jian Li of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and the Department of Microbiology, “have demonstrated that nanoparticle-based polytherapy treatments disrupt the outer membrane of superbug bacteria, and offer an improved alternative to the conventional use of loading the antibiotic within lipid nanoparticles,” the university wrote.

“When bacteria becomes resistant, the original antibiotics can no longer kill them. Instead of looking for new antibiotics to counteract superbugs, we can use the nanotechnology approach to reduce the dose of antibiotic intake, effectively killing multidrug-resistant organisms,” Shen added.

ExploreOintment kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria, promotes wound healing

Why is this important? According to the WHO, no new antibiotic has been discovered in the past 30 years. Globally, however, there’s a crisis of antibiotic resistance, which means more people will die from basic infections because they have developed antimicrobial resistance.

“The use of nanoparticles-antibiotics combination therapy could reduce the dose intake in the human body and overcome the multidrug resistance,” Shen said.

For more content like this, sign up for the Pulse newsletter here.

About the Author

Editors' Picks