Scanning electron micrograph of MRSA (yellow) surrounded by cellular debris (orange) Image source: http://1.usa.gov/1TBGgQS
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics has led to the development of many bacterial strains which show antibiotic resistance and are called ‘super bugs’. Once such bacteria, the Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA, is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections, and the second biggest cause of death by drug-resistant bacteria in the US. These bacteria are resistant to the most widely used class of antibiotics, called beta-lactams, which include penicillin, methicillin and carbapenems.
These antibiotics work mainly by targeting essential components of the cell wall of the bacteria. But the MRSA protects itself by producing a type of molecule that can soak up the antibiotic and prevent it from working.
However, now a team of researchers from the Merck Research Laboratories in New Jersey lead by Christopher Tan have found a way to overcome the drug…
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