Researchers have developed a way to combat bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics, which could revolutionise healthcare and put an end to these “superbugs.”

Researchers have developed a way to combat bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics, which could revolutionise healthcare and put an end to these “superbugs.”

 
The Department of Biochemistry at the University of Montreal, led by Dr. Christian Baron, came up with a novel approach to the problem, removing the virulence of bacteria instead of trying to kill off the bacteria itself.
 
The so-called “naked Darth Vader” approach, a name gained by Baron's example of the Sith Lord's vulnerability without his armour, works by targeting the protein, called VirB8, that bacteria live off. The team discovered tiny molecules that could hunt down this protein, without which the bacteria would be rendered harmless.
 
 
The benefit of this approach is that it is unlikely that bacteria will learn how to adapt, as they will essentially starve to death. Even if adaptation occurs, the researchers believe it would be very slow. Drugs based on this targeted approach would also not be as damaging to the patient as existing antibiotics, which often kill off good bacteria in addition to the bad ones.
 
Like all major health discoveries, however, it will be years before a drug is developed and fully tested to ensure it is successful and has no major side-effects. Regardless, the achievement is very good news for hospitals, where these “superbugs” often thrive, and could give us a major weapon in the fight against virulent bacteria.
 
Source: Phys.org