New research on countering superbugs
Antibiotic resistance is by no means a new problem, but the latest CDC report into the phenomenon does outline some novel approaches to treating bacterial infection.
The advice for slowing infections generally and resistance in particular will be familiar: vaccination, strict hygiene for medical facilities and personnel, and using antibiotics only when needed and for the shortest duration possible. The authors admit that these are only temporary measures however, especially given that some bacteria are now becoming resistant to disinfectants as well.
Researchers are also working to develop new types of antibiotics to combat drug resistant bacteria, although most of these efforts are in the early stages. In the shorter term, research has indicated that using specific combinations of existing antibiotics can be effective where current therapies fail.
Other research is investigating alternatives to antibiotics entirely, such as a team from the University of Pittsburgh and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute who were able to treat a liver infection with bacteriophages.
Probiotics are another promising line of research, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases having successfully treated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus using the probiotic Bacillus in ...