London, May 20 (ANI): Harmless bacteria from people's noses could destroy MRSA, and could thus be transformed into nasal spray to mimic the immunity, which allows most of us who aren't sick to fight off the superbug.
Takayuki Iwase and colleagues at Jikei University in Tokyo, Japan, said that Staphylococcus epidermidis can wipe out colonies of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) in the lab.
Crucially, for the spray plan, S. epidermidis also cleared ordinary S. aureus in a bacterial "turf war" in the nose.
The friendly bugs oust their rivals with the help of an enzyme called Esp.
It's possible either the enzyme, or live S. epidermis, could be used in hospitals.
Mark Enright of Biocontrol Ltd, a firm in Bedfordshire, UK, that is developing ways to pit harmless microbes against infectious ones, prefers using the live bacteria to the enzyme.
This is because the bacteria would continue growing in the nose and oust S. aureus permanently, whereas Esp alone would rapidly lose its activity.
"You would want them to knock out the opposition and take over," New Scientist quoted Enright as saying.
He added that if a spray for MRSA can be developed the priority would be to treat the noses of all hospital staff since they can harbour and spread MRSA. (ANI)