Superbugs

A deadly superbug known as
carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella
pneumonia, or CRKP, has been
spreading across the state of
California at an alarming rate, infecting
more than 300 people in just Los
Angeles County alone in the past six
months.

The superbug, derived from a deadly
bacteria that is resistant to most
antibiotics, is appearing mostly in local
nursing homes, affecting the elderly
whose immune systems are weakened
and unable to fight off infection.

Other cases have been in hospitals
across Southern California. The
bacteria was previously thought to be
confined mostly to the East Coast, but
it is now appearing across the
Southern part of the state of California,
and experts are concerned.
It is superbugs like this one that
expose our vulnerability and need for
more antibiotics.

MRSA and C-Diff, classified as
gram-positive, are the two most
common types of superbugs. MRSA is
mostly associated with skin infections.
However, when the infection spreads
to internal organs, more severe
symptoms are produced and it can
become life-threatening. C-Diff causes
diarrhea and other serious intestinal
conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention, each year, 1.7
million people in the U.S. develop
health care associated infections.
Given the fact that antibiotic resistance
has turned into a major health care
issue, there is a need to explore new
antibiotics to fight the superbug battle.


UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK-LED TEAM
DEVELOPS HOSPITAL TEXTILES TO
KILL MRSA SUPERBUG
A European research team,
co-ordinated by the Materials and
Surface Science Institute (MSSI) at the
University of Limerick, announced  the
development of textiles which will kill
the MRSA (Methicillin Resistant
Staphylococcus Aureus) superbug.

The BioElectricSurface Research
Team has utilised nano-particles on
textiles which are used in hospital
drapes, bed linens, and upholstery.
The Nano-materials, which are a
thousand times smaller than a human
hair, possess properties that the team
has harnessed to develop this
technology to fight MRSA

The nano-particles are photo-active;
therefore, when light hits the
nano-particles they are activated, and
emit a chemical that works against the
MRSA bug. As long as those particles
are present, the material will continue
to function as a textile that will not
transport the MRSA bug, thus reducing
the spread of MRSA in a hospital.

Staff working in a hospital who may
tend to many different patients over
the course of a working shift would be
ideal candidates for wearing uniforms
made from this textile, which should aid
the reduction in the spread of MRSA.

The US and European market size for
medical textiles was estimated to be
over $7 billion (5 billion euro).