German researchers have discovered an antibiotic based on a bacteria found in your nose. This bacteria kills MRSA, the culprit behind most hospital staph infections.
Antibiotics have been overused, leading to resistance. MRSA infections don’t respond to most antibiotics, and they kill about 20,000 people each year. About 30% of people carry the bacteria that makes up MRSA, S. aureus, in their noses without knowing it. The nose is the most common port of entry for MRSA.
Scientists at University of Tubingen took snot samples from healthy people and cultured the bacteria found within. They planted S. aureus along with the other species of bacteria in the snot. S. lugdunesis, which contains a compound lugdunin, was killing off the S. aureus. This new compound successfully treated staph infections in mice. It penetrated deep into the tissues, a very useful characteristic for treating deep-rooted staph infections. Leaving the two bacteria to battle for a month, the s. aureus did not develop a resistance, meaning the lugdunin is tough to beat. When the lugdunin was altered, the S. aureus grew with no problems.
This study is promising. The researchers have filed a patent to develop the lugdunin into an antibiotic. Rather than current over-the-counter probiotics, which are made from non-human bacteria digested in the body, this new bacteria native to the body can stick around for a long time, altering the infected flora. It can be applied to just the infected area, so the rest of the immune system can remain strong. It can block MRSA from ever taking root in the body. After new treatments begin use, pathogens will continue to try to find new ways to beat the antibiotics.
Vlasits, Anna. “This smells promising: Nasal bacteria pump out a new antibiotic that kills MRSA.” In the Lab. STAT, 27 Jul 2016. Web. 31 Jul 2016.