Killing Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria…without Antibiotics
Antibiotic-resistant bacterial kill on average kill 700,000 people each year, but recent studies suggest that this number could rise to 10 million by the year 2050. Most attempts to fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial has been to use new antibiotics against it, but recent developments have shown that another approach may be beneficial.
A 25-year-old PhD student at the University of Melbourne in Australia has developed a star-shaped polymer that can kill SIX different superbug strains without the use of antibiotics. One way the star-shaped polymer simply rips apart the bacteria’s cell walls. The destruction of the cell walls puts a lot of stress on the bacteria, which causes the bacteria to start killing itself.
These polymers are called SNAPPs, which stands for Structurally Nanoengineered Antimicrobial Peptide Polymers. These SNAPPs provide a great alternative to antibiotics because the SNAPPs, so far, do not seem to have any effect on health cells – which antibiotics do. Right now, SNAPPs have only been tested in the lab and on mice, but the results have been promising enough to move forward soon. While most researchers have been looking for new forms of antibiotics to deal with the antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, the answer may end up being something completely different!