Web Zap*Germs Archive

May 26, 2005

"New Hopes" for MRSA-killing Antibiotics

By the end of RotS, we're ready for A New Hope, right? Well, news comes of potential MRSA treatments -- one mundane, two others a bit more exotic.

Dr Valerie Ferro, an immunologist at Strathclyde University, is working to identify a chemical compound in the aloe vera plant which kills bacteria that have become resistant to all existing antibiotics. When her students found that concentrated aloe vera killed intestinal bacteria, she followed a hunch and discovered the plant juice killed MRSA bacteria as well. They are now working on turning the plant extract into an antibiotic.

Other UK scientists are plumbing the depths in search of new antibiotics to fight MRSA, and have found a new species of actinomycete bacteria (verrucosispora maris) that produces an antibiotic called abyssomicin C. (Land-based actinomycetes have been the source of some of the most effective antibiotics, including vancomycin, the last-resort staph treatment.)

Researchers from the company AquaPharm Bio-Discovery in Scotland are also working to develop MRSA-killing antibiotics from several unnamed varieties of underwater bacteria.

Here's a link to more info on the search for helpful underwater bacteria.


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