Scientists Develop New Alternative to Antibiotics
Scientists and health officials agree that it’s only a matter of time before conventional antibiotics fail to combat bacterial infections like MRSA, E. coli, salmonella or tuberculosis. After decades of overuse, many bacterial strains have since mutated and developed a resistance to antibiotics like penicillin or carbapenem, drugs often saved as a “last resort” when fighting infections. However, researchers recently tested a new drug in the Netherlands which may offer a long lasting solution to the problem of antibiotic resistance.
The trial involved the use of endolysins, naturally occurring enzymes found in viruses known as bacteriophages. As bacteria mutate, their cell membranes become more resilient to prevent traditional drugs from entering the cell. However the modified endolysins are able to bind to the cell surface of specific bacteria and tear them apart, while leaving harmless or beneficial microbes unaffected.
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