A new polymer could yield promising defense against drug-resistant bacteria that cause wound infections.
Superbugs are one of the most worrisome of all the modern medical scourges. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria are plentiful, resulting in more than 2 million illnesses annually, according to the Harvard School of Medicine.
To improve the medical community’s odds of effectively combating these superbugs, researchers across the globe have developed a number of new and innovative techniques. For instance, a team from Columbia University has used specialized UV light to destroy the bacteria. Meanwhile, a group from the U.K. found that chemical manipulation can impede this bacteria.
A PhD student at the University of Melbourne has recently unveiled another exciting form of therapy that can prevent wound infections. And while this new method is still in the early stages, it is already being heralded as having the potential to change the entire scope of modern medicine, as The Telegraph reported.
Doctors in the U.K. have used a special protein to defeat antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains.
Superbugs, especially those like MRSA, have been receiving plenty of attention both in the media and laboratories across the world. These drug-resistant bacteria are a massive health issue, and MRSA alone causes 11,285 related deaths each year, per figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While CNN reported that rates of invasive MRSA have dropped in recent years – tumbling 31 percent between 2005 and 2011 – the problem rages on. As such, several new breakthroughs have been made into further combating MRSA and similar superbugs.
One such development, detailed in a report in the journal Nature, found that the human nose contains a powerful antibiotic compound. Now, another such innovation, courtesy of a team from the U.K.’s University of Sheffield, could prevent bacterial skin infections.
The traffic in a standard operating room won’t increase the likelihood of a patient developing a surgical site infection.
Even in the U.S., where medical practices have plenty of oversight, surgical site infections are still a problem for patients everywhere. According to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 157,500 SSIs diagnosed in 2011 alone. SSIs have an overall mortality rate of 3 percent, and these harmful microbials are directly responsible for 75 percent of all deaths in patients with an SSI.
One reason for the prevalence of SSIs could be the operating room itself. According to a 2015 study in the journal Orthopedics, more people in an OR can increase a patient’s risk of infection. Specifically, a greater number of door openings and airflow can give these nasty infections a fighting chance. However, new research might counter this study entirely.
Maryland researchers are working on a new drug therapy for fungal infection.
While most people associate fungal infections with a mostly harmless condition like athlete’s foot, there are certain fungal strains that can prove fatal. Once common primarily in India, the fungus behind Madura Foot has spread as of late into the southern United States. In fact, fungal diseases recently outpaced both tuberculosis and malaria in number of annual deaths, the Daily Mail reported in 2015.
The problem with many of these fungal diseases and ailments is that they often work quickly to destroy both bone and tissue, and sometimes debridement is the only way to have a lasting impact on these nasty microbial fiends. However, there has been renewed interest in finding ways to counteract fungus.
In spring 2016, scientists from the U.K.’s University of Manchester developed a form of “super honey” that can combat several fungal strains. Now, researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine have taken new strides in battling deadly types of fungal infection.
Doctors have used a cancer medication to treat sepsis in mice.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sepsis is when a bacterial infection makes its way into the bloodstream. If left untreated, sepsis can lead to tissue and organ death. Most people can usually recover from mild forms of sepsis. However, once septic shock sets in – the latter stage that involves altered mental status and reduced cardiac function – mortality rates increase to nearly 50 percent. According to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1.2 million people were hospitalized for sepsis in 2008 alone.
To more effectively combat the dangers of sepsis, researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have experimented with a series of treatments. One of the more potent methods for beating sepsis comes from a most unlikely source: a cancer-fighting drug.