UK scientists – Deadly superbug can be killed in just five minutes


Drug resistant superbug has become a concern for health officials in the US. Superbug NDM-1 bacteria, named after an Indian city, New Delhi, is rare in the USA and has been found mainly in people who obtained medical treatment in India, according to Arjun Srinivasan of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  So far 35 states in US have reported the positive cases of this superbug in the hospitals. Increased cases of superbug and other resistant bacteria have been keeping researchers on their toes for a long time. Lately British scientists revealed that they have developed a revolutionary drug, which could kill deadly superbugs like Clostridium difficile and MRSA within 5 minutes.

Clostridium difficile is a life-threatening bacterium that causes diarrhea and intestinal problems, while MRSA or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causes a number of difficult-to-treat infections in humans. Both bacteria cause nosocomial infections (an infection which is acquired by patients in hospitals).

About the Drug
British researchers have given a code name to this new anti-bacterial drug, XF-73. The drug kills superbugs within five minutes and hence life threatening bacteria have little chance of developing any resistance to the drug, which is most common problem with the current drugs.

Researchers revealed that XF-73 works differently from other antibiotics, wherein it breaks down cell walls and cause the rapid loss of superbug’s vital contents....

Usually antibiotics act by destroying specific parts of bacteria to disable them, a process that takes much longer time.

During the tests, MRSA did not show any resistance to the new drug, even after 55 repeat exposures. The bugs were completely eradicated with no side effects.

The drug was discovered eight years ago, however, the results of its clinical trials were announced last week at the Interscience Congress on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Boston, US.

The scientists are confident that XF-73 could be a potential drug to prevent the spread of infection in hospital wards within three years.

The new drug shows promise for eradicating life-threatening infections that are caused by resistant bacteria against which all antibiotics fail. However, more details such as drug-associated side effects are needed to see the potential of the drug.

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Source: TOI

6 Responses

  1. J.L.Lee says:

    Now we all wait for the FDA to screw around for 10 years while the public dies!

    I feel so protected.

  2. Jack says:

    Will this drug also destroy the cell walls of healthy bacteria or even human tissue, such as the that which makes up the various organs and structures of the human body?

    • Rupali Gupta says:


      In order to treat human infections, antibiotics must selectively target bacteria and not the cells of its human host. However, there is a very high possibility that antibiotics can kill both pathogenic(disease causing) and beneficial bacteria present in the human body. This is the reason probiotics (healthy bacteria) are recommended to people who are on antibiotic therapy to replenish the healthy bacteria in the gut.

      The reason as to why antibiotics do not attack on human cells is the difference in the presence of cell wall. Most bacteria produce a cell wall that is composed partly of peptidoglycan, which is made up of amino sugars and short peptides. Human cells do not make or need peptidoglycan.

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