Soon, a cream that can ward off devastating superbugs!
The lotion prevents infection without directly killing bacteria and promoting antibiotic resistance, and could be ready for clinical trials in three years.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Scientists have developed a cream that causes bacteria to slide off the skin, which they claimed could mark a turning point in the fight against superbugs.
The lotion, which has been tested on laboratory-grown “model” skin, prevents infection without directly killing bacteria and promoting antibiotic resistance, and could be ready for clinical trials in three years.
Scientists believe that the pioneering treatment is a breakthrough and could help hospitals deal with the burden of infection from bedsores and ulcers.
Bacteria invading a wound or bedsore attach themselves to the skin by hijacking sticky patches on human cells.
Scientists at the Sheffield University found that proteins called tetraspanins made the patches much less sticky, allowing the bugs to be harmlessly washed away.
Tests of the proteins on the model skin have shown that the therapy is safe and effective, say the researchers.
The researchers hope to produce a cream or gel that can be applied directly to the skin, or more efficient dressings.
“This development is a huge breakthrough in the fight against antibiotic-resistance, Dr Pete Monk, from Sheffield University, said.
“Skin infections, such as bed-sores and ulcers, can be incredibly troubling for patients who may already be dealing with debilitating conditions. They are also a significant problem for modern healthcare. We hope that this new therapy can be used to help relieve the burden of skin infections on both patients and health services while also providing a new insight into how we might defeat the threat of antimicrobial drug resistance.”
The Sheffield scientists also developed a 3D skin model that mimics the tissue structure of normal adult skin and can be used to simulate infected wounds.
Scientists now hope to develop new anti-bacterial dressings derived from tetraspanin proteins that will make it easier to keep wounds sterile and promote more rapid healing.
Their research, funded by the charity Age UK, was published in the journal Public Library of Science ONE.