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'Magic bullet' uses light to kill MRSA

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A ‘magic bullet’ that uses light to target and kill methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been created by scientists at University College London

And because of the way it works, it is very unlikely that MRSA bacteria will develop resistance to it, says spokeswoman Linda Dekker.

She was presenting the breakthrough at the Society for General Microbiology’s annual meeting in Harrogate.

She described how the light-sensitive antimicrobial agent tin chlorin e6 is attached to a peptide that attaches to a molecule on the surface of the bacterium.

When e6 is exposed to light of a specific wavelength, it releases molecules that kill the bacteria. A reported 99.97 success rate makes it 1,000 times more effective than e6 without the peptide.

Says Ms Dekker: `The results from laboratory studies are very encouraging and indicate that this technique might be effective at treating topical infections such as wound and burn infections.

`This work will require in vivo trials before it can be used. Due to the growing resistance of many organisms to antibiotics, this approach may be the only one available for use against microbes resistant to all known antibiotics.

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