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New silver dressings 'can tackle NDM-1'

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Superbugs which contain the New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1) antibiotic resistance enzyme could be destroyed by ACTICOAT dressings, new research suggests.

According to a study presented by the Health Protection Agency and Smith & Nephew at the European wound Management Association’s conference, this new type of nanocrystalline silver dressing could tackle bacteria strains which carry NDM-1.

Although the research has only been tested on in vitro superbugs, it is hoped that it could also have positive implications for wound infections.

As a result of the inappropriate use of antibiotics, bacteria containing NDM-1 are often resistant to the likes of b-lactam and non b-lactam antibiotics.

However, the new study assessed the impact of nanocrystalline silver dressings on bacteria with NDM-1, and discovered that within half an hour the three dressings which were tested reduced the five bacteria strains analysed by around 99.99%.

Professor of medical microbiology at the University of East Anglia, Professor David Livermore, said: “The emergence of carbapenem resistance is deeply disturbing and, since there are few antibiotics in reserve behind the carbapenems, it presents a major global health concern.

“We have identified bacteria with NDM resistance in over 150 patients in the UK and these numbers are rising. These data demonstrate that new types of dressing can kill bacteria carrying NDM-1 and this might be useful in preventing wound infections.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Have there been tests of nano-silver on humans before? The chemistry of elements is, I'm lead to believe, greatly enhanced at the nano scale.

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