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RevolutionaryNewAntibioticAlternativeCouldSavetheWorldFromSuperbug'Apocalypse'

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Revolutionary New Antibiotic Alternative Could


Save the World From Superbug 'Apocalypse'
BY AMELIA

SMITH 11/6/14 AT 12:39 PM

Scientistshavedevelopedanewalternativetoantibioticsthatcouldrevolutionisethewaywe
treatsuperbugsandavoidascenariowherecommonmedicalproceduresbecomelife
threateningduetobacteriabecomingimmunetoconventionaldrugs.
MarkOfferhaus,theCEOoftheDutchBiotechcompanyMicreos,whichdevelopedthedrug,
hassaidthattheadvancesignalsanewerainthefightagainstantibioticresistantbacteria."
"Millionsofpeoplestandtobenefit,hesaid.Thatsveryexcitingandgratifying.
TheUKschiefmedicalofficer,DameSallyDavies,warnedinJanuary2013thattheriseof
antibioticresistantsuperbugscouldleadtoanapocalypticscenarioinwhichpeoplewould
dieofminorinfectionsandbasicoperationswouldbecomedeadly.Sheequatedthethreatof
antibioticresistancetoterrorismandnaturaldisasters,andcalledonparliamenttoplaceiton
thegovernmentsofficialregisterofnationalemergencies.
UKprimeministerDavidCameronwarnedthatitcouldtakemedicine"backtothedarkages."

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ThenewdrugcouldbeusedtotreatMRSAinfections,andthetechnologywillbemadefreely
availablearoundtheworldforresearchpurposes,theteambehindthedevelopmentsaid.WHO
statisticsshowthat50,000peopleinEuropeandAmericadieofmultidrugresistantbacteria
eachyear.
Thedrug,anendolysincalledStaphefekt,hasbeenfoundtokillthebacteriaStaphylococcus
aureusinitsnormalanddrugresistantforms(MRSA).Ithasalreadybeenusedincreamsto
treat10,000peoplewithskinconditionssuchaseczemaanddermatitis,withasatisfactionrate
of80%.

http://www.newsweek.com/revolutionarynewantibioticalternativecouldsaveworldsuperbugapocalypse282771

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4/3/2015

RevolutionaryNewAntibioticAlternativeCouldSavetheWorldFromSuperbug'Apocalypse'

Nowscientistssayitcanalsobeusedinthemedicalworldtotreatasuperresistantstrainof
bacteria.Whentestedonasampleofpatientsinthelaboratory,thedrugwasfoundto
completelyeradicatethebacteriafrominfectionswithoutleadingtoresistanceandleavingother
beneficialbacteriaunaffected.
Thesoonerthistechnologybecomesthenewstandardespeciallyintopicalapplicationsthe
betteritis,OfferhaustoldNewsweek.Thiscanalsoalleviatetheresistancepressureon
existingantibiotics,helpinguspreservetheseforwhenwereallyneedthem.Butletsnotforget
thateachbacterialspeciesalsorequiresitsowntargetedsolution,soweshouldnotseethisasa
panaceaforbacterialinfections.
MRSA,anacronymformethicillinresistantStaphylococcusaureus,isthemostdeadlystrainof
antibioticresistantbacteria,causingaround5,000deathsinEnglandeachyear.Butitisjustone
straininagrowingpool,includingresistantstrainsofgonorrhea,tuberculosis,E.coliand
salmonella.Thesestrainsofbacteriahaveevolvedtobecomecompletelyimpenetrableby
modernmedicine.Untilnow.
Thestudies,presentedWednesdayattheLondonconferenceAntibioticAlternativesforthe
NewMillennium,showedhowthenewdrugkilledbacteriainacompletelydifferentwayfrom
antibiotics,enablingittobypasstheproblemofantibioticresistantstrains.
Thedrugisbasedonanaturallyoccurringenzymeproducedbymicroorganismsinthebody,
knownasbacteriophages,thatspecificallytargetandkillbacteria.Bacteriophagesdothisby
cuttingthroughthebacteriacellwall,killingitintheprocess.
Unlikeantibiotics,whichreachinsidethecelltowork,Staphefekttargetsaspecificregionof
thecellwallthatislesssusceptibletomutation,significantlyreducingthelikelihoodof
resistantstrainsdeveloping.DrBjornHerpers,aclinicalmicrobiologistwhotestedthedrugat
thePublicHealthLaboratoryinKennemerland,toldNewsweek:Wehavetriedtoinduce
resistanceinclinicalstrains.Whatweseehappeningisresistancedevelopingintheantibiotics,
butnotthedrug.
Furthermore,becausethedrugtargetsmorethanonepartofthebacteriacellwall,inorderfor
resistancetooccur,therewouldhavetobemanyveryunlikelychangesoccurringatthesame
time,Herperssaid.

http://www.newsweek.com/revolutionarynewantibioticalternativecouldsaveworldsuperbugapocalypse282771

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RevolutionaryNewAntibioticAlternativeCouldSavetheWorldFromSuperbug'Apocalypse'

Whenaskedwhetherthenewendolysintechnologycouldbeusedtotreatothersuperresistant
strainsofbacteria,OfferhaustoldNewsweek,Absolutely.Wevestartedclinicaltrialsandwill
belookingtocollaboratewithresearchgroupsaroundtheworldtoexploretheadditional
possibilitieswiththisnewtechnology.Infact,asacontributioninthefightagainstantibiotic
resistantbacteria,MicreoshasdecidedtomakeStaphefektavailableforfreeforresearch
purposes,inakindof'opensource'setting.
EndolysintechnologyisalreadybeingusedtodevelopapotentialnewdrugforClostridium
difficileinfection,antibioticinduceddiarrhea.
Thepromiseofendolysintechnologyhasbeenaroundforyears,butthetechnologicalplatform
hasonlyjustbeenrealised,HerperstoldNewsweek.Thisisthefirstendolysinavailabletobe
usedonhumans,anditcanbeusedoveralongperiodoftime.Youcannotdothiswith
antibioticsorcorticosteroidcreams.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
6comments

Addacomment

KhawajaNawaz TopCommenter
Greatbreakthrough.Couldyoupleaseelaboratemoreabouttheendolysineitself?Thechemical
formulationetc.ItwouldhelpmuchmoreinthecountriesofThirdWorld.
ReplyLike

1 FollowPostNovember6,2014at11:07pm

CarolAnneTorryLindseyUMassBoston
Whatwastheplatformtechthatmadeendolycindevelipmentaccessiblenow?Thisis
tremendousinanycase.
ReplyLike

1 FollowPostNovember7,2014at8:23am

DiversifiedAdministration,Inc.
Verygoodnews
ReplyLike

1 FollowPostNovember10,2014at11:06am

DavidLeFevrePacificUniversity
Thiswillbeinterestingmostlytopeoplewhoworkinhealthcareorscience.
ReplyLikeFollowPostNovember14,2014at9:39pm
J.r.Raymond TopCommenter
Ikeeplookingfora"sponsoredcontent"tagonthis.Itreadslikeapressrelease.
ReplyLikeFollowPostNovember13,2014at11:44pm
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