Tags: antibiotic-resistant | MRSA | alternative | Staphefekt | endolysin

Scientists Develop Drug to Replace Antibiotics

By    |   Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 10:03 AM

 
Scientists at the Dutch biotech company Micreos have developed the first alternative to antibiotics that's being hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against the superbug known as MRSA. Government authorities worldwide have been concerned along with scientists at the rate  drug-resistant infections are growing as conventional antibiotics lose their effectiveness, seeing the problem as a possible future apocalypse for health.

The new drug, called Staphefekt, works differently from current antibiotics because it attacks and kills an enzyme unique to the Staphylococcus bacteria which causes the antibiotic-resistant infection MRSA.

Researchers developed a designer endolysin (Staphefekt) which is a type of enzyme that attacks bacteria. Staphefekt fastens on to the surface of MRSA cells and kills them.
Conventional antibiotics penetrate cells and destroy them from the inside, but some strains of bacteria, such as MRSA, have developed tough membranes that are impenetrable. Since the new drug targets the cell wall, which is less susceptible to mutation, it's unlikely infections could develop resistance to it. In addition to killing MRSA, Staphefekt doesn't harm beneficial bacteria.

Stephefekt is already available as a cream, and researchers say it will be in pill form within five years.

“The results are exciting, and demonstrate the potential this technology has to revolutionize the way we treat certain bacterial infections," said clinical microbiologist Dr. Bjorn Herpers. "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 destroy only their target bacterial species, leaving the beneficial bacteria alone."
 
“With the introduction of Staphefekt, we enter a new era in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria, targeting only the unwanted bacteria," said Mark Offerhaus, CEO of Micreos. "This is a far more logical and elegant approach. Millions of people stand to benefit. That’s very exciting and gratifying.”
 
 

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Scientists at the Dutch biotech company Micreos have developed the first alternative to antibiotics that's being hailed as a breakthrough in the fight against the superbug known as MRSA. Government authorities worldwide have been concerned along with scientists at the rate ...
antibiotic-resistant, MRSA, alternative, Staphefekt, endolysin
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2014-03-06
Thursday, 06 Nov 2014 10:03 AM
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