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Maggot antibiotic could be used against MRSA

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Maggots could be the next weapon in the fight against the MRSA superbug, according to scientists.

Researchers at Swansea University have identified an antibiotic in the secretions of the common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata), which could be used against MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

The antibiotic, called Serticin, is effective against 12 different strains of MRSA, as well as E. coli and C. diff.

Now the team are looking at ways of identifying the compound and synthesising it, before it is tested on human cells.

Then it could be developed into an injection, pill or ointment for use in clinical trials to establish its efficacy.

Principal researcher Norman Ratcliffe said: ‘It takes approximately 20 mugs of maggots to yield just one drop of purified Seraticin at present. Thus, the next stage will be to confirm its exact identity using mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses in order for us to produce this chemically on a larger scale.’

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