Revolutionary New Antibiotic Alternative Could Save The World From Superbug 'Apocalypse'

Amelia Smith | Newsweek | November 6, 2014

Scientists have developed a new alternative to antibiotics that could revolutionise the way we treat superbugs and avoid a scenario where common medical procedures become life-threatening due to bacteria becoming immune to conventional drugs.  Mark Offerhaus, the CEO of the Dutch Biotech company Micreos, which developed the drug, has said that the advance signals “a new era in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria." "Millions of people stand to benefit,” he said. “That’s very exciting and gratifying.”

The UK’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, warned in January 2013 that the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs could lead to an “apocalyptic scenario” in which people would die of minor infections and basic operations would become deadly. She equated the threat of antibiotic resistance to terrorism and natural disasters, and called on parliament to place it on the government’s official register of national emergencies.  UK prime minister David Cameron warned that it could take medicine "back to the dark ages."

The new drug could be used to treat MRSA infections, and the technology will be made freely available around the world for research purposes, the team behind the development said. WHO statistics show that 50,000 people in Europe and America die of multi-drug resistant bacteria each year.  The drug, an endolysin called Staphefekt, has been found to kill the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus in its normal and drug resistant-forms (MRSA)...