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An Antibiotic to Kill Superbugs?

Staph medical illustration, CDC

Mesh Medical Device News Desk, June 15, 2017 ~ Could alterations to the  standard antibiotic, vancomycin, provide an answer to treat some antibiotic-resistant Superbugs?

Superbugs, as they are known, have evolved faster than the antibiotics created to fight them.

Every year more than two million people get antibiotic-resistant infections, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

At least 23,000 of those people die when the drugs to treat them are no longer effective.

Especially in a hospital setting, Superbugs, often the Enterococci bacteria, can cause dangerous wound and blood infections. 

CNN  recently announced a Superbug strain found in a Pennsylvania woman, that no antibiotic can affect.

To slow the evolving and inevitable health crisis, a research team has reinvented an old strain of vancomycin, a 60-year-old antibiotic.  Vancomycin typically treats sepsis, skin infections, staph, Clostridium difficile, among other infections.

Modified into three versions, it is thought to be effective in fighting Enterococci bacteria. It not only increases cell permeability of the bacteria but is said to be more than 1,000 times as potent as standard vancomycin.

Re-engineering vancomycin will still not be effective against all forms of resistant bacterial.

The research team is from The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.  The Scripps study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new drug is not widely available until it undergoes clinical trials and animal testing.

Thousands die globally from untreatable conditions such as tuberculosis, blood poisoning, gonorrhea, staph, and pneumonia that are resistant to antibiotic treatment.

Vancomycin was already the drug of last resort because it indirectly attacked bacteria. But as often happens, bacteria evolve rather quickly to survive, resulting in the vancomycin-resistant enterococci or VRE.

Enterococci are an extremely hardy group of bacteria traced back to at least 425 to 450 million years, reports the San Diego Union Tribune.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health. ###



  1. Bejah Butterton says:

    Gosh, animal testing and clinical trials, what a concept!

    Seriously, I was infected with MRSA in my blood (running free for 7 days) when I was exposed by a “dirty” IV in the ER of a bad hospital (JFK, Indio, CA). I spent the night after a possible TIA then was discharged and went home. A week later I woke with the infection site swollen, red, hot, etc. and raced back to the ER and blew into the ER and yelled “Look what you have done to me”.

    I was in isolation for 19 days. I was on a IV drip not of Vancomycin but Zyvoxx. I also had blood thinner pushed into my abdomen every couple of hours. I survived. I was discharged with a script for Zyvoxx for another 7 days and went home to bed. Wonder why you do not mention this antibiotic. At the time it was said to be only one of two that would work against MRSA (2007).

    In addition to regular meals I drank ENSURE every day. To this day I am very sensitive about hand washing and germ free environments but not obsessive.

    One day you are alive and the next you are dead so wash your hands people.


  2. Nameless says:

    Thank you. I’m sensitive to the issue.

  3. Disgusted says:

    I’m afraid I’ve become a germophobe. I take wipes to wash the toilet seat and clean the area. I was in a coma for sepsis for 4 days. I cath on/off. I am both in retention and have uncontrolled flooding. I have a doctor tell me my bladder needs to be removed because of superbug’s like this. I still cry.

    • Bejah Butterton says:

      Dear Disgusted, If one’s bladder is removed then what….we become bag ladies? So easy for him to tell you to remove your bladder (He makes money I assume). I no longer trust doctors or hospitals. And most doctors are only as good as their training.

      I weep for you, with you. If I understand, I would use adult diapers before I would let them do another surgery. And maybe something really helpful will be developed like an artificial bladder. Would it not be good to wait for that, push for it?

      Have you told us how you came to be in this situation, have you told us your story?

      We live with what we have left, until we can not go on and then the nightmare ends. Keep the faith!


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