How do you kill a superbug? Certain types of bacteria, such as MRSA, creep around hospitals, and are resistant to drugs. Of the various types of “superbugs,” MRSA is the most common one. MRSA is resistant to several types of antibiotics, including penicillin and penicillin-like drugs. This type of bacteria is harmless until it penetrates your body, potentially causing several harmful results.
VIRUS VS SUPERBUG
Researchers are testing the effectiveness of a particular virus, in killing bacteria that are resistant to drugs. Staphylococcus aureu is a type of bacteria that can cause various symptoms, including:
toxic shock syndrome
Also known as “staph,” this type of bacteria annually infects roughly half a million patients in U.S. hospitals! MRSA is the so-called “superbug,” which is almost 300% more dangerous than other types of drug-resistant bacteria.
One group of researchers in Italy is testing the effectiveness of a type of virus called “bacteriophages” or “phages.” This virus can kill bacteria, yet is harmless to humans.
What did the researchers discover? First, they pinpointed a particular type of phage that kills the staph bacteria. Their next step was to inject lab mice with either lethal dosages or non-lethal dosages. The lethal doses saved the lives of 97% of the mice. Meanwhile, the non-lethal dosages of the virus completely ended the staph infections. Within time, the bacteria created a resistance to combat the phages.
While phages are less expensive and easier to prepare than antibiotics are, phages also contain a major drawback. It is improbable that a phage will destroy all MRSA strains in an animal or person. To solve this problem, doctors can use a cornucopia of phages, with each of them destroying different strains of staphs. Thus, we should consider phages as a viable weapon in the war against bacteria.
HUMAN GUINEA PIGS
Researchers are thrilled about the possibility of using phages to combat bacteria in humans. They hope soon to begin testing the impact of phages, on humans with staph infections. With MRSA alone resulting in at least 80,000 U.S. hospital deaths annually, the news is welcome to both medical staff and patients.
STAMPING OUT STAPHS-THE ALERNATIVES
Other proven methods in hospitals are also effective in stamping out the spread of staph infections. These include basic steps to ensure that hospitals maintain an environment of cleanliness. Sterilizing all medical tools and wearing hygienic scrubs, such as cheap urbane scrubs, can also effectively reduce the transmission of staphs-including the superbug. In this case, the adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of curse,” holds true. Reducing the population of superbugs will help to reduce their rate of infection.
Fortunately, researchers have discovered a type of virus that can help to combat those creepy critters in hospitals, known as “superbugs.” However, it is unlikely that the virus will become a panacea for eliminating staph infections. Thus, we must do more. Taking precautionary steps can help to prevent superbugs from becoming super dangerous!