MRSA: The cure

New drug undergoing human trials offers hope of breakthrough. Gel placed in the nose could beat superbug that kills 1,600 every year

Mary Dejevsky
Sunday 18 May 2008 00:00

A cure for MRSA appears to be within grasp after scientists claimed to have developed a drug that destroys the most virulent strains of the deadly superbug. The breakthrough by British researchers could save 1,600 lives a year and wipe out the highly infectious bacteria.

A landmark peer-reviewed study has found that in the lab MRSA does not develop resistance to the drug, as it does to antibiotics. Tests showed that the XF-73 "bacteriocidal" compound continued to destroy MRSA after repeated treatment, long past the stage when it would have become resistant to antibiotics.

MRSA has proved to be an intractable problem in hospitals, despite repeated government initiatives – concentrating on improved staff hygiene and deep-cleaning programmes – to eradicate it.

Doctors and patients would be able to apply the drug, carried in a gel, in the nostril to protect them from infection.

Scientists at Sussex-based Destiny Pharma are now carrying out human trials and could have a product ready within three years.

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