Pro­bi­otics and antibiotics form a killer combo

The two-pronged at­tack has been found to help erad­i­cate drug-re­sis­tant bac­te­ria

How It Works - - GLOBAL EYE -

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

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