MRSA susceptible to existing antibiotics, study finds
An international study involving scientists from The Roslin Institute has found that a combination of antibiotics and a drug used to treat kidney infections could treat MRSA and limit the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
The study published in Nature Microbiology used genome sequencing technology to examine how a combination of penicillin with clavulanic acid - a medicine used to treat kidney infections - could be used to target MRSA infections.
Researchers identified the genes that make MRSA susceptible to treatment with a combination of the drugs, in which the clavulanic acid prevents an enzyme in the bacteria from destroying the penicillin.
It is hoped the development will aid in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, in which certain medicines have become less effective against some bacteria.
“This study highlights the importance of genomic surveillance – collecting and sequencing representative collections of bacterial strains,” said Dr Ewan Harrison, study lead from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge.
“By combining the DNA sequencing data generated by genomic surveillance with laboratory testing of the strains against a broad selection of antibiotics, we may find other unexpected chinks in the armour of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that might give us new treatment options.”
Dr Gavin Peterson from the Roslin Institute added: “These findings highlight that currently available drugs may be effective against serious infection caused by MRSA, which may represent a new approach to targeting a significant problem in modern healthcare.”