Researchers have discovered a compound in an Antarctic sea sponge that’s capable of killing 98 percent of the drug-resistant superbug, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – better known as MRSA – which is rapidly spreading throughout the US. With more and more bacteria species becoming resistant to the antibiotics we have available, scientists are desperately looking for new ways to protect against infection, and early research suggests that the Antarctic sponge could be an option.
Staphylococcus aureus – or staph – infections are pretty common, particularly in hospital settings, and under normal circumstances they’re not particularly hard to treat. But MRSA is a strain that’s developed resistance to most of the antibiotics we have available, which means it can quickly spread from a superficial infection, such as a skin infection, to an invasive one, which can be life-threatening.
According to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC), around 80,000 MRSA infections are diagnosed in the US each year, and 11,000 people die from MRSA complications – and right now, we really don’t have many options to fight them. Which is why the discovery of this new compound, which has been named ‘darwinolide’, is so exciting. Researchers found it inside an Antarctic sponge, Dendrilla membranosa, and initial lab tests have shown that it’s able to kill 98.4 percent of MRSA cells. Source: Scientists just found a compound that kills 98% of a drug-resistant bacteria