Methicillin-resistant staphyloccocus aureus, MRSA, has been an increasing problem for both hospitals and homes over the last few years, and drug-resistant bacteria are estimated to make current antibiotics obsolete in only another decade or two. Luckily, researchers are eager to find an alternative to antibiotics to treat MRSA and other drug-resistant infections.
At Lawerence Livermoore National Laboratory, they have developed a way to use the specific genetic sequence of individual strains of bacteria to recreate lytic proteins that could be used against bacteria such as MRSA.
Lytic proteins are used when cells divide and reproduce, but can also be used to destroy the cell. Since they are a necessary part of the cellâ€™s cycle, thereâ€™s no reason to believe that bacteria would develop a resistance to them the way they have to antibiotics.
The University of Rochester is in the preliminary stages of developing a new antibody that could stop bacteria cells from growing, a new way of attacking drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA.
Finally, the excretions of blowfly maggots, when used in combination with antibiotics, may be effective against MRSA and other drug-resistant bacteria. Although not as promising as the other research being done, extending the life of antibiotics is critical to future medical care as increasing numbers of hospital patients are at risk for developing staph infection.
What do you think of the new MRSA treatments being developed? Do you know anyone who has developed MRSA infections after being in the hospital?