Drug resistant bacteria, as the Bard would tell us, is a “plague on both your hospitals.” As bacterial drug resistance grows, so does the motivation to find new ways to fight this epidemic.
The Guardian is reporting that researchers from Manchester University have found great success treating MRSA infected ulcers with…maggots.
Maggots of the common bluebottle can fight off the superbug MRSA, researchers from Manchester University announced today.
They discovered that when free-range larvae from the insect were applied to the MRSA-infected foot ulcers of 13 diabetic patients, they cleared up the infection in all but one case.
Head of the research team Professor Andrew Bolton said he was confident that the treatment could be just as successful in MRSA infections in other parts of the body.
He said: “Maggots are the world’s smallest surgeons. In fact they are better than surgeons – they are much cheaper and work 24 hours a day.
Prof Bolton and his team have been using maggots for the last 10 years to treat foot ulcers developed by patients at the Manchester Diabetes Centre and foot clinics, as well as in-patients at Manchester Royal Infirmary.
But they decided to see whether maggots had any effect on beating MRSA after they noticed that the number of patients with ulcers infected by the superbug had doubled in last three years.
Prof Bolton admitted that the results were a surprise but “very exciting.”
He said: “We have demonstrated for the first time the potential of larval therapy to eliminate MRSA infection of diabetic foot ulcers.
Not to be outdone, the Daily Mail recently reported that Scottish scientists have discovered a unique protein secreted from bullfrogs that is an effective killer of MRSA.
Researchers at St Andrews University have developed a novel treatment which kills the infection. One of its key ingredients is ranalexin, a protein secreted by the Rana species of bullfrogs.
When scientists combined it with the enzyme lysostaphin they found had a “potent and significant” inhibitory effect on MRSA.
Microbiologist Dr Peter Coote, who led the study, said: “Our finding represents a potentially novel way to combat MRSA via surface treatment or impregnation of wound dressings.
“Together the ranalexin and lysostaphin are very, very potent as any resistance has to overcome two hurdles.
“They kill the organism extremely quickly and effectively.”
“We have shown that this works in the lab – now we want to see if it would work in a topical application, like around the surface of a catheter,” added Dr Coote.
“We need to explore these questions to see if it is clinically or commercially viable. If it works then it could be a very good way of preventing MRSA.”
Story at The Guardian…