In recent research, scientists from Brigham Young University, UK, found a new way to complete the whole blood sampling and analysis process for the identification of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the blood that takes just 1 hour (instead of 24 hours of the traditional method).
This method includes a process of blood spinning, through which the bacteria are isolated from the samples so their DNA and can be analyzed. The scientists used fluorescent molecules able to bind specifically to segments of bacterial DNA that contain known antibiotic-resistant genes. If these genes are in the sample, they can be detected by a microchip.
Researcher Aaron Hawkins, an electrical and computer engineer at Brigham Young University, comments on the results of the study: “Once you’re trying to diagnose the disease, the clock is ticking. Every hour the disease is untreated, survivability drops by about 7 percent. You want to know what you’re fighting immediately so you can apply the right treatments.”
The scientist took blood from Komodo dragons and analysed it to find out whether they could trace of cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs), the protein fragments that work as an essential part of our innate immune system.
The researchers hope that future studies of these peptides could lead to new antibiotic medications that can fight deadly superbugs. They wrote in their paper: “Future efforts will focus on determining whether peptides are constitutively produced or the result of pathogen detection, as well as whether this phenomenon is limited to Komodo dragons or if it occurs in other species, including humans.”
Scientists found that Tasmanian devil milk comprises an arsenal of antimicrobial compounds that can kill some of the most deadly infections known to modern science, including golden staph.
According to the study, Tasmanian devils can produce six different types of these antimicrobial compounds (while humans produce just one). Scientists are able to successfully synthesise them in the laboratory to test their efficiency against a number of drug-resistant pathogens.
“We showed that these devil peptides kill multi-drug resistant bacteria, which is really cool,” says Emma Peel, one of the researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia. “The next step for our research to if these peptides have anti-cancer potential, if they are killing superbugs, maybe they could kill the facial tumour.”
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