New drug kills MRSA – including strains with antibiotic resistance

Researchers from Scotland have developed a new drug that kills strains of MRSA that are becoming resistant to antibiotics, according to a paper published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy.

MRSA is a part of the natural flora in the nose and mouth, especially in those who work in hospitals. Auto-infection from this nasal ‘reservoir’ of bacteria is the major cause of MRSA infections following surgery and other medical interventions.

It is increasingly resistant against the current ‘gold standard’ means of eradication, mupirocin, and there are very few other means to address this hospital infection.

The new drug, an antimicrobial peptide called Luminaderm NP108, not only kills mupirocin resistant MRSA, but also outperforms it in other ways. It kills individual bacteria and biofilms of these pathogens significantly faster, and by a mechanism which mitigates the opportunity of resistance to develop in target bacteria in the future.

NovaBiotics, the company behind the drug, say it has the potential for application in the nose as a means to eradicate MRSA.

Dr Deborah O’Neil, the company’s Chief Executive and Scientific Officer, said: ‘The results of our lab tests show that Luminaderm NP108 consistently outperforms mupirocin, the current gold standard, in how quickly it kills MRSA in planktonic and biofilm form, and even mupirocin resistant bacterial isolates, marking a milestone in our drug discovery journey for this molecule. This research has the potential to lead to significant clinical implications for MRSA decolonisation with an emergence of a superior agent to mupirocin based products.’