London: British scientists claim to have achieved a major breakthrough by developing a drug which could kill deadly superbugs like C-diff and MRSA.
C-Diff or Clostridium difficile is a life-threatening bacterium that causes diarrhoea and intestinal problems, while MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causes a
number of difficult-to-treat infections in humans. Both are acquired by patients in hospitals.
Now, a British team has claimed the new anti-bacterial drug, codenamed XF-73, can eradicate the superbugs within five minutes, which means that deadly bacteria have little chance of developing any resistance to it.
The scientists believe XF-73 could be used to prevent the spread of infection on hospital wards within three years, the `Daily Express` reported.
During tests, carriers of superbug bacteria had XF-73 gel placed inside their noses. The bugs were eradicated with no side effects, and MRSA did not show any resistance to
the new drug in clinical tests even after 55 repeat exposures.
"This is a major breakthrough. Thousands of lives could be saved by destroying bugs in patients before they become susceptible to infections through medical procedures
such as operations," said Dr Bill Love, the chief executive of Destiny Pharma, the pharmaceutical company behind the product.
In fact, F-73 works differently from antibiotics by breaking down cell walls and causing the rapid loss of its vital contents. Antibiotics act by destroying specific parts
of bacteria to disable them, a process that takes much longer.
Prof Ian Chopra of Leeds University, an expert, said the development was "extremely exciting". "Resistance to antibiotics is seriously undermining the ability of medical
profession to treat bacterial infections.
"Society urgently requires the discovery and development of new anti-bacterial drugs that have a different method of action and minimal potential for the development of
resistance. XF-73 fulfils this need. The bactericidal potency of these drugs is remarkable," he said.