Himachal Dental

Nano coating raises hopes in fighting antibiotic resistance

Posted in Dental News by UK Dental Tourism on August 26, 2010

The emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is becoming a major problem in the fight against hospital-related infections. Researchers from New York and Albany in the United States have now reported the successful testing of a new nanoscale coating that can be used for surgical equipment or hospital walls and kills even super-resistant bugs like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) within 20 minutes of contact.
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MRSA is a bacteria-strain usually found on the skin and sometimes nasal passages of healthy people from where it can find its way into the body through cuts or healthcare-related equipment like catheters and breathing tubes. Infections caused by MRSA are difficult to treat because they do not respond to antibiotics used to treat staph infections such as penicillin or cephalosporin. In countries like the UK, more than 1,000 patients die of MRSA-related infections per year.

The new coating, which is based on a natural enzyme called lysostaphin, can be used with any type of surface furnishes the researchers said. In a field test, they mixed it with ordinary latex house paint, which was used to paint a number of walls in the Albany Medical College. They found that lysostaphin, which is only toxic to MRSA, works by first attaching itself to the bacterial cell wall and then kills it by slicing it open.

“It’s very effective. If you put a tiny amount of lysostaphin in a solution with Staphylococcus aureus, you’ll see the bacteria die almost immediately,” said Ravi Kane, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. “At the end of the day, we have a very selective agent that can be used in a wide range of environments—paints, coating, medical instruments, door knobs, surgical masks—and it’s active and it’s stable.”

Kane added that the coating has a dry storage shelf life of up to six months and can be washed repeatedly without loosing effectiveness.

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