Scientists make breakthrough in fighting superbugs
“Superbugs” that are resistant to treatment have become a major concern for many hospitals. But now scientists in the U.K. say they’ve developed a new effective weapon to fight these infections–an antibacterial gel.
The gel, according to its creators, a team of scientists from Queen’s University in Belfast, is able to destroy Pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococci and E.coli—three superbugs commonly found in hospitals.
Using natural proteins, the antibacterial gel penetrates the bacteria’s thick outer layer, called biofilms. Biofilms have caused current antibiotics to become ineffective in fighting the superbugs, making the bacteria very difficult to treat.
The gel does not harm healthy cells and is comprised of peptides, which help form human tissue. Scientists figured out how to manipulate peptides into a gel that eats away at the resistant bacteria.
This development, published in Biomacromolecules, is seen as a major step toward making a stay in a hospital less likely to cause a patient to become sicker.