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Scientists Develop Alternative To Antibiotics

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Scientists have developed a highly effective alternative to antibiotics which can destroy bacteria in seconds.

 

The drug, called Staphefekt, is based on a naturally-occurring enzyme that side-steps the defence mechanisms that superbugs have evolved to fight off traditional antibiotics.

 

It is already available in Holland and Germany as a cream to treat skin infections such as acne, but researchers hope to develop a tablet form of the drug within five years to treat serious infections.

Mark Offerhaus, chief executive of Dutch firm Micreos, told Sky News that bacteria are unlikely to evolve resistance to the treatment.

 

"(It) will drill holes in the bacterial cell wall from the outside," he said.

"This goes really fast, in a matter of seconds. There is no time to develop resistance. This is a really important day in the history of antimicrobial treatment."

 

Overuse of antibiotics has led to a growing problem of drug resistance.

 

Around 5,000 patients a year die from once treatable infections and Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that the rise of superbugs could take medicine "back to the dark ages".

 

Staphefekt uses an enzyme called endolysin, which is found in viruses that attack bacteria.

Studies on small numbers of patients have confirmed it can eradicate Staphylococcus Aureus - the species of bacteria that includes MRSA.  

 

But scientists at a London summit on antibiotic resistance warned that proven treatments need to be used with care until new drugs come on stream - with GPs set tough targets to reduce prescribing.

 

Jayne Lawrence, chief science advisor to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: "GPs are going to have to explain more carefully to patients why in some cases they won't be given an antibiotic because they don't really need it.

 

"Alternatively, they might be given a prescription that is post-dated so it can't be used for a few days - the idea is to check the patient has an infection that needs the antibiotic."

 

 

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/scientists-develop-alternative-antibiotics-200454628.html#TT2eEEx

 

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