Scientists in the UK are working on a drug that they believe could herald a breakthrough in efforts to cure MRSA.
Researchers are carrying out trials of a bactericidal compound, which they claim actually kills bacteria, with a view to developing a product for use in hospitals within three years.
Most antibiotics used to treat hospital bugs such as MRSA are bacteriostatic, meaning they prevent the growth of bacteria.
Brighton-based pharmaceutical company Destiny Pharma believes its compound – codenamed XF-73 – could hold the key to stamping out the potentially-fatal bug.
A study showed that, even after 55 repeat exposures, MRSA bacteria did not develop resistance to the drug – which is applied as a gel into patients’ noses – in the same way it does to antibiotics.
The firm presented its findings to the European Congress on Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Barcelona last month.
XF-73 destroyed the five most common strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA) in laboratory tests, according to the study.
Five of the most common strains of MRSA were tested against the drug and an antibiotic was used as a control.
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“It can be a start as infections may be caused by airborne staphylococci. As S aureus also lives on skin etc, additional measures will be needed. The liberal and unrestricted prescribing of antibiotics has started the problem and the reversal of that practice is needed as well.” – Hugo Gudde, The Netherlands