Researchers Plan To Use Viruses In Fight Against Hospital Superbugs
Researchers are creating clever new ways to attack and destroy antibiotic resistant “superbugs” in hospitals. Molecular biologists with Tel Aviv University in Israel argue it is necessary to find new ways to fight bacteria, as some strains have become immune to antibiotics.
Viruses could be used as an alternative for fighting antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA and C. diff. Superbug-fighting viruses could be used in hand sanitizers to eliminate bacteria on hospital surfaces. Critics of the idea claim bacteria could evolve and become resistant to the viruses, but researchers are using viruses capable of disrupting the genetic mechanism that gives superbugs a resistance to antibiotics.
The viruses, known as bacteriophages, pose no danger to humans.
Why Are Superbugs A Problem For U.S. Hospitals?
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, superbugs kill 23,000 patients in the United States every year.
Outbreaks of superbugs have been in the news recently, with the bacterium C .diff claiming multiple lives. In response to the threat posed by superbugs, the White House recently held a summit on solutions to stop further spreading. The summit aimed get hospitals and food producers to reduce antibiotic use. Widespread use of antibiotics has caused bacteria to evolve and become resistant.
Hospitals and health care practitioners are responsible for maintaining a clean environment. Failing to do so can put patients at risk for serious and often fatal infections. In some cases, injured patients and grieving family members might have options to pursue damages against negligent hospitals.
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