Researchers Discover a Non-Antibiotic Method to Cure Drug-Resistant Infections

The effectiveness of antibiotics and antivirals has been in danger for some time as a result of the emergence of germs that are resistant to a number of antimicrobial therapies that used to work.

But now that a novel chemical has shown promising results in treating staphylococcus infections in people with cutaneous lymphoma, researchers may have discovered the solution. This is great news for the patients and for the threat of antibiotic resistance around the world.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered an unique enzyme that can be used to destroy Staphylococcus aureus, sometimes known as golden staph. It is a common bacterium that grows on the skin or in the nose and has developed drug resistance.

"Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem, especially on a global scale. And when you have this relatively simple infection that suddenly cannot be treated with antibiotics, the situation can turn serious, sometimes life-threatening," says Professor Niels Odum from the LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Centre at the University of Copenhagen.

"To people who are severely ill with, e.g., skin lymphoma, staphylococci can be a huge, sometimes insoluble problem, as many are infected with a type of staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to antibiotics," says Niels Odum who adds:

"That is why we are careful not to give antibiotics to everyone, because we do not want to have to deal with more resistant bacteria. Therefore, it is important that we find new ways of treating, and not the least, preventing, these infections."

According to the study, a lot of money is being spent globally to combat antibiotic resistance in staphylococcus aureus infections, and a recent study of people with cutaneous lymphoma showed promising findings.

A new substance called endolysins has proven capable of killing both resistant and non-resistant Staphylococcus aureus-without the need for antibiotics. But we will get back to that.

The news release further stated that the discovery is good news for patients with a weak immune system, for whom a staphylococcus aureus infection can be serious and, at worst, fatal. But it also adds to the knowledge we have of other forms of treatment.

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