Superbugs are microbes that found a way to resist antibiotics. Their evolution threatens humanity with a comeback to an era where communities were struggling with deadly infections. However, a group of scientists might have created the ideal nemesis to fight superbugs. They took the well-known vancomycin and altered it with empowering upgrades.
The New Vancomycin Version Has Three Methods to Fight Superbugs
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 2 million people each year who fall victims to antibiotic-resistant microbes. More than 23,000 of them succumb to death. On top of that, if scientists continue to have nothing to fight superbugs, these evolved infections will continue to increase their influence.
However, a group of scientists might be up to something. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla engineered a new shape of vancomycin. After this antibiotic had received its upgrades, it showed promising signs of resisting superbugs.
Researchers found a way to incorporate not one, but three deadly traps to bacteria in their samples of vancomycin. In order for a superbug to survive this new threat, it must win each of these three security layers at a time. However, the odds for bacteria to achieve this are small. The creators are sure that their new version is 1,000 times tougher than the original one.
Enterococci Managed to Infiltrate Hospitals
This new chemical weapon should fight superbugs that made the entire scientific world tremble. This is about enterococci or VRE that has taken even hospitals by storm and succeeded to integrate into these very institutions. World Health Organization classified this superbug as one of the greatest enemies to human health. Its presence generates blood infections and life-threatening wounds.
While there are still some drugs that work against this infection, vancomycin has completely lost its power against enterococci. Therefore, Scripps researchers wanted to find out if they can bring this antibiotic back to its former glory. The team leader, Dr. Dale Boger, stated that the new version of vancomycin was created to hinder superbugs from building antibiotics immunity ever again.
“So it’s a molecule designed specifically to address the emergence of resistance.”
Under lab conditions, the new antibiotic succeeded to slay all VRE samples. Not only that, but the drug preserved its entire power even at the 50th exposure to bacteria. Nonetheless, even though the new vancomycin proved its capacity to fight superbugs, scientists need another five years to test it on people and obtain market clearance.
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