The most threatening and widespread topic which seeks importance nowadays is about antimicrobial resistance. The glimpse of the superbug is fishy. Many scientists all over the world are finding novel ways to handle superbugs.
What is are superbugs?
Superbugs are microbes that have become resistant to the drugs that destroy them, especially antibiotics. The bacteria strengthens its defense against any threats through rapid cell division and horizontal gene transfer. Several bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, Pseudomonas, Campylobacter become unaffected by most drugs.
Methilicinin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the superbugs which causes infection all over the body. Although most MRSA infections aren’t severe, some can be life-threatening, leading to the amputation of the affected limb. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has declared that there are about 2.8 million cases of MRSA infection, and it also results in 35,000 death each year in the United States.
Instead of playing a game with the superbugs by prescribing multi-drug treatment, doctors could try a different method to tackle the superbugs. Researchers from Boston University’s College of Engineering in Massachusetts have come up with an idea to attack the bacteria by using blue light.
Scientists have used Staphylococcus aureus to study the effect of blue light on cell membranes using an optical microscope. Soon they have noticed that the microscope’s blue light was bleaching the staphyloxanthin (STX) molecule, which is an antioxidant residing in the microdomain of the bacterium membrane. These have been quantified by using Raman spectroscopy and mass spectroscopy.
Golden pigmentation is the universal signature of Staphylococcus aureus. Prof. Cheng mentioned that if we could bleach the pigment, we might kill the bacterium.
Further, in the study, they included that the blue light used for bleaching STX molecules must be at a certain wavelength (460nm) as that to be non-toxic to the human body. When the photon breaks the STX molecule, it causes pores on the membrane leading to 90% death of their colony. But as these cells are fast-dividing, even 90% of destruction is not sufficient to resist infections. Researchers suggested that 99.9% of bacteria should be killed for effective purposes.
They dosed the cell with a strong oxidizer (hydrogen peroxide) after exposing the bacteria with blue light to kill the remaining bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide entered the cell through the pores of the membrane, thereby killing 99.9% of the S.aureus colony.
Success of the therapy
Prof Cheng’s team has said the treatment is effective as it does not harm the human cell. Pulse laser therapy can even shorten the therapy time and it can increase the depth of tissues to be treated. This treatment can also be useful for diabetic patients as high blood sugar can predispose them to diabetic ulcers in the lower extremities. Open wounds that do not heal soon are highly susceptible to MRSA, therefore this treatment would be highly helpful in tackling it.
Do you want to publish on Apple News, Google News, and more? Join our writing community, improve your writing skills, and be read by hundreds of thousands around the world!