(Please note: As always, all opinions in my posts are my own and do not reflect the views or policies of the Mega Foundation.)
(Click to enlarge)
Scanning electron micrograph of a human neutrophil ingesting MRSA
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Date: 20 December 2010
Author: National Institutes of Health (NIH)
If you or one of your loved ones have ever been infected with MRSA in a hospital setting, perhaps you have experienced how woefully inadequate the current medical response can be to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The extent of MRSA infections is indicated in the following:
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (/ɛmɑːrɛseɪ/ or /ˈmɜːrsə/) is a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans. MRSA is any strain of Staphylococcus aureus that has developed, through horizontal gene transfer and natural selection, multi- resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, which include the penicillins (methicillin, dicloxacillin, nafcillin, oxacillin, etc.) and the cephalosporins. MRSA evolved from horizontal gene transfer of the mecA gene to at least five distinct S. aureus lineages. Strains unable to resist these antibiotics are classified as methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, or MSSA. The evolution of such resistance does not cause the organism to be more intrinsically virulent than strains of S. aureus that have no antibiotic resistance, but resistance does make MRSA infection more difficult to treat with standard types of antibiotics and thus more dangerous.
MRSA is especially troublesome in hospitals, prisons, and nursing homes, where patients with open wounds, invasive devices, and weakened immune systems are at greater risk of nosocomial infection (hospital-acquired infection) than the general public. MRSA began as a hospital-acquired infection, but has developed limited endemic status and is now sometimes community-acquired as well as livestock-acquired. The terms HA-MRSA (healthcare-associated MRSA), CA-MRSA (community-associated MRSA) and LA-MRSA (livestock-associated) reflect this distinction....
...S. aureus most commonly colonizes under the anterior nares (the nostrils). The rest of the respiratory tract, open wounds, intravenouscatheters, and the urinary tract are also potential sites for infection. Healthy individuals may carry MRSA asymptomatically for periods ranging from a few weeks to many years. Patients with compromised immune systems are at a significantly greater risk of symptomatic secondary infection.
In most patients, MRSA can be detected by swabbing the nostrils and isolating the bacteria found inside the nostrils. Combined with extra sanitary measures for those in contact with infected patients, swab screening patients admitted to hospitals has been found to be effective in minimizing the spread of MRSA in hospitals in the United States, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands.
MRSA may progress substantially within 24–48 hours of initial topical symptoms. After 72 hours, MRSA can take hold in human tissues and eventually become resistant to treatment. The initial presentation of MRSA is small red bumps that resemble pimples, spider bites, or boils; they may be accompanied by fever and, occasionally, rashes. Within a few days, the bumps become larger and more painful; they eventually open into deep, pus-filled boils. About 75 percent of community-associated (CA-) MRSA infections are localized to skin and soft tissue and usually can be treated effectively. Some CA-MRSA strains display enhanced virulence, spreading more rapidly and causing illness much more severe than traditional HA-MRSA infections, and they can affect vital organs and lead to widespread infection (sepsis), toxic shock syndrome, and necrotizing pneumonia. This is thought to be due to toxins carried by CA-MRSA strains, such as PVL and PSM, though PVL was recently found not to be a factor in a study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. It is not known why some healthy people develop CA-MRSA skin infections that are treatable while others infected with the same strain develop severe infections or die.
People are occasionally colonized with CA-MRSA and are completely asymptomatic. The most common manifestations of CA-MRSA are simple skin infections, such as impetigo, boils, abscesses, folliculitis, and cellulitis. Rarer, but more serious, manifestations can occur, such as necrotizing fasciitis and pyomyositis (most commonly found in the tropics), necrotizing pneumonia, and infective endocarditis (which affects the valves of the heart), and bone (osteomyelitis) and joint infections. CA-MRSA often results in abscess formation that requires incision and drainage. Before the spread of MRSA into the community, abscesses were not considered contagious, because infection was assumed to require violation of skin integrity and the introduction of staphylococci from normal skin colonization. However, newly emerging CA-MRSA is transmissible (similar, but with very important differences) from HA-MRSA. CA-MRSA is less likely than other forms of MRSA to cause cellulitis....(End excerpts)
In 2015, researchers at the University of Nottingham conducted a successful experiment that created an antibiotic from a recipe found in a 10th century Anglo-Saxon manuscript.
Details are given in "AncientBiotics - a medieval remedy for modern day superbugs?" from 30 Mar 2015:
A one thousand year old Anglo-Saxon remedy for eye infections which originates from a manuscript in the British Library has been found to kill the modern-day superbug MRSA in an unusual research collaboration at The University of Nottingham.
Dr Christina Lee, an Anglo-Saxon expert from the School of English has enlisted the help of microbiologists from University’s Centre for Biomolecular Sciences to recreate a 10th century potion for eye infections from Bald’s Leechbook an Old English leatherbound volume in the British Library, to see if it really works as an antibacterial remedy. The Leechbook is widely thought of as one of the earliest known medical textbooks and contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments.
Early results on the 'potion', tested in vitro at Nottingham and backed up by mouse model tests at a university in the United States, are, in the words of the US collaborator, “astonishing”. The solution has had remarkable effects on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which is one of the most antibiotic-resistant bugs costing modern health services billions.
The team now has good, replicated data showing that Bald’s eye salve kills up to 90% of MRSA bacteria in ‘in vivo’ wound biopsies from mouse models. They believe the bactericidal effect of the recipe is not due to a single ingredient but the combination used and brewing methods/container material used. Further research is planned to investigate how and why this works.
The testing of the ancient remedy was the idea of Dr Christina Lee, Associate Professor in Viking Studies and member of the University’s Institute for Medieval Research. Dr Lee translated the recipe from a transcript of the original Old English manuscript in the British Library.
The recipe calls for two species of Allium (garlic and onion or leek), wine and oxgall (bile from a cow’s stomach). It describes a very specific method of making the topical solution including the use of a brass vessel to brew it in, a straining to purify it and an instruction to leave the mixture for nine days before use....(End excerpt)
In the following video, the researchers explain what happened:
To be continued...