Could This Antibiotic Alternative Save the World? (Video)

November 13, 2014 Updated: November 13, 2014

Scientists in Switzerland are working on an alternative to antibiotics, and the impact it could have on medicine is enormous.

The overuse of antibiotics has been leading to new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) over 50,000 people in Europe and America alone die of drug-resistant bacteria every year.

But finally there is good news on the horizon. A team of scientists in Switzerland is currently working on developing an alternative to antibiotics that can treat severe bacterial infections and eliminate new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The team has managed to engineer nanoparticles composed of liposomes, which are small fluid sacs enclosed in a lipid bilayer. The nanoparticles composed of these liposomes closely resemble the membrane of host-cells, meaning that once they are injected in your body, bacterial toxins will mistake them for naturally occurring lipids and try to infect them. At that point, the nanoparticles will consume those toxins, trapping them inside and neutralizing them, preventing the spread of toxins.

The team has already conducted successful studies on mice infected with septicemia, a fatal blood infection, by injecting mice with various forms of Staphylococcus.

Scientists warn that this isn’t a cure for every infection, since each form of bacteria will require its own tailored solution.

 

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