MRSA News; New Approach Offers Promise

Scientists have discovered a new way to attack dangerous pathogens, marking a hopeful next step in the ever-escalating battle between man and microbe.

Actual MRSA cells

MRSA infections are among the most virulent infections known. The superbug causes nearly 500,000 hospitalizations and 19,000 deaths in the United States each year – more deaths than caused by AIDS. The bug can be acquired in the community or in hospitals.

In a paper published online Feb. 10 in the journal PLoS Pathogens, scientists demonstrate that by stopping bacteria’s ability to degrade RNA – a “housekeeping” process crucial to their ability to thrive – scientists were able to stop methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA both in the laboratory and in infected mice.

The team, headed by a microbiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, is now developing closely related compounds designed to be much more potent than the one discussed in the paper.

The new approach shows promise against the most severe strains of MRSA as well as the toughest type of MRSA infection for antibiotics to infiltrate – bacteria enmeshed in biofilms.

“This offers a whole new way to go on the offensive against some of the world’s most dangerous bugs,” said the leader of the group, Paul Dunman, Ph.D., associate professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and formerly of the University of Nebraska. “We’re hoping our research opens the door to an entirely new class of antibiotics.”

The team also includes scientists from the University of Nebraska, the University of Arkansas, Vanderbilt University, and the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

MRSA and other dangerous microbes are so deadly largely because of their ability to adapt quickly to changing conditions. Bacteria’s knack for adaptation hinges on their ability to constantly churn out new molecules of RNA, which carry crucial messages that tell a cell what proteins to make and in what quantities.

The new research focuses on a critical cellular step that is part of the process, known as RNA degradation. Once an RNA molecule is no longer needed, the molecule is sliced and diced up, and its components are returned to the pool of available raw material that the cell taps again and again to construct other RNA molecules as needed.

“In bacteria, RNA degradation is crucial. The cells are replicating very quickly and responding to environmental changes very rapidly. In less than three minutes, a new RNA transcript is made, the protein is made, and then the RNA is degraded, and that material is made available to make other RNA molecules,” Dunman said.

Suppose you could stop MRSA by switching off its ability to breath?  Might that work?  You can learn much more by clicking here.

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About CareMan
I am the CareMan, have been for 7 years now. I really do care about YOU and getting YOU back to great, natural health, so long as you have an open mind.

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