Probiotics and antibiotics form a killer combo
The two-pronged attack has been found to help eradicate drug-resistant bacteria
Researchers from MIT managed to eradicate two strains of superbug that often infect wounds by using probiotics – beneficial bacteria found in our bodies – at the same time as delivering antibiotic drugs.
Probiotics can help fight bacteria by producing compounds that kill them, while others outcompete the pathogenic bacteria for nutrients.
Probiotics usually struggle to fight off all the different pathogenic strains that infect wounds, but combining their use with antibiotics can be tricky as the drugs would also kill the good bacteria. The MIT team overcame this key problem by encapsulating the probiotics in an alginate capsule to protect them from the antibiotics’ effects.
During tests on the superbug MRSA, this combined approach wiped out all the pathogenic bacteria in the dish