New Anthrax-Killing Antibiotic Also Eliminates MRSA

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What is the link between antibiotics and staph infections? A recent study showed that a reduction in use of antibiotics actually reduced hospital-acquired MRSA infections, so they're linked tighter than you might think. Staph bacteria image courtesy of the US CDC.

Could a newly-developed antibiotic fight deadly hospital-acquired MRSA infections? Image courtesy of the US CDC.

Universal Antibiotic?

Epimerox was specifically designed to fight against Bacillus anthracis 2-epimerase, however, it also inhibited the growth of many Gram-positive (but not Gram-negative) organisms that encode 2-epimerases, including MRSA. (A Gram-positive bacteria contains peptidoglycan and turns dark blue or violet during Gram Staining, while Gram-negative bacteria turn pink or red.)

For example, the presence of this new antibiotic was enough to completely stop the growth of Staphylococcus aureus strain RN4220 bacteria over a 12 hour period.

MRSA a Major Health Risk

MRSA infections have even been detected in wildlife, which fully confirms its prevalence in multiple populations. Currently, the antibiotic vancomycin is used as a last resort in MRSA infections.

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When asked by Decoded Science if Epimerox could be the definitive antibiotic for MRSA, Dr. Fischetti replied: ‘Right now VancomycinRSA organisms are being isolated, so I believe that by the time Epimerox hits the market (in 5-6 yrs), these organisms will be prevalent and Epimerox will be able to control them and other resistant staphylococci.’

In other words, Epimerox could very well prevent and successfully treat intractable and life-threatening MRSA infections in hospitals.

References

Raymond Schuch, Adam J. Pelzek, Assaf Raz, Chad W. Euler, Patricia A. Ryan, Benjamin Y. Winer, Andrew Farnsworth, Shyam S. Bhaskaran, C. Erec Stebbins, Yong Xu, Adrienne Clifford, David J. Bearss, Hariprasad Vankayalapati, Allan R. Goldberg, Vincent A. Fischetti. Use of a Bacteriophage Lysin to Identify a Novel Target for Antimicrobial Development. (2013). PLoS ONE. Accessed April 14, 2013.

Shylo E. Wardyn1,2, Lin K. Kauffman3 and Tara C. Smith. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Central Iowa Wildlife. (2012). Journal of Wildlife Diseases. Accessed April 14, 2013.

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