Currently antibiotics and disinfectants are used to target bugs in hospitals like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, C. difficile, and MRSA. Effective in killing individual bacteria, they are often ineffective against complex organised communities of bacteria.
Professor Bill Graham, from the Centre for Plasma Physics at Queen’s, said: “When bacteria congregate on surfaces they produce a kind of glue which joins them together in complex communities, known as biofilms. Instead of individual bacteria, they form a resistant film or layer and bind themselves together. This often makes it impossible for antibiotics to penetrate through and kill the bacteria deep within this protective layer. Bacteria growing like this, as is often seen with superbugs in hospitals, are often more than 1,000 times more tolerant to antimicrobial agents like antibiotics and disinfectants compared to free-floating bacteria.
To this end they have developed a new technique – called Plasma Jet – which has the potential to kill off hospital superbugs like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, C. difficile, and MRSA. The new technique creates a number of agents which rapidly kill bacteria, even within mature biofilms. Not only does it attack the bacteria but this synergistic approach attacks the biofilm structure killing the bacteria deep within.
Read more at:
- Horizon: Defeating the Superbugs (milkandcookies.com)
- Scientists invent new way to destroy bacterium that killed four babies in Belfast and Derry (independent.ie)
- Plasma Jet Kills Superbugs In Hospitals, Safe Enough To Use On Skin (geekosystem.com)
- Northern Ireland scientists use gas to kill deadly pseudomonas bug (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Experts use gas to kill deadly bug (belfasttelegraph.co.uk)
- Viruses Could Sanitize Water Plants And Fight Deadly Superbugs (medicalnewstoday.com)
- New technique to target superbugs (bbc.co.uk)
- Antibiotics may be behind spread of superbug MRSA (news.bioscholar.com)
- Antibiotic Overuse Highest in the South and Midwest (treehugger.com)
- Deadly ‘superbugs’ on the rise: What you need to know (foxnews.com)