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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Israel develops new 'solution' to kill hospital superbugs

Another brilliant solution to a common problem. Israeli scientists have developed a new 'solution' that kills hospital superbugs.
Hospital-acquired infections are one of the leading causes of preventable death in the developed world today, with 100,000 people in the United States alone dying every year from bugs they catch as patients in the hospital, according to the World Health Organization. The old and very young are at an especially high risk of infection from resistant bacteria that can spread like wildfire.

But now superbugs may have met their match, thanks to a genetically engineered cleaning solution developed in Israeli laboratories.

Costing only a few dollars a quart, the solution is non-toxic to patients and can be spread on hospital surfaces to kill what conventional soaps and antibiotics can't, report researchers Rotem Edgar from the Tel Aviv Sourasky (Ichilov) Medical Center and Udi Qimron from Tel Aviv University. They detailed their technology recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

The solution uses a laboratory-grown virus called a bacteriophage, which disrupts the DNA of resistant bacteria and renders them susceptible to antibiotics.

"We have genetically engineered the bacteriophages so that once they infect the bacteria, they transfer a dominant gene that confers renewed sensitivity to certain antibiotics," says Qimron, who believes his solution will one day be part of every hospital's anti-germ arsenal.

The researchers say that the new spray could be applied on any surface where there is a high concentration of germs, such as door handles, faucets, bedrails and handrails.

The product is now ready to be tested, first on a nasty strain of E. coli that leads to urinary tract infections in pregnant women. The scientists will also test their spray on other kinds of bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Read the whole thing. And if you boycott Israel, make sure to add this to your list.

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At 9:06 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

This will be great. I actually know of someone who went to visit her dad in a hospital with a little open cut on her foot and wearing sandals. And she ended up with the cut getting infected with these resistant superbugs and almost lost her foot. Yikes.

And then there are the medical professionals who walk into a room and start an IV or whatever without washing their hands. There are sinks in almost every room now and, if I were the hospitals, I'd come up with some kind of bonus or reward based on them signing into the room and washing their hands. Some do it and some don't and some put on new gloves and some don't and some don't even wear gloves... and some patients die from these bizarre things that are passed on to them in these processes. I'm not sure this sanitizer will take care of this other thing, which is an attitude issue. Although I guess a very effective handwash and a soothing hand lotion with this stuff in it could make the marathon handwashings less destructive of hands. (And maybe we come up with #614... washing of hands before touching a person to be healed or comforted... with its own blessing!)


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