“Super-bugs” curable with human boogers

Researchers have isolated a bacterium in the nose that works as an antibiotic against Staph.

Biologists have discovered that a bacterium in the human nose can produce antibiotics to destroy Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that causes many conditions including Toxic Shock Syndrom, skin infections and food poisoning.

The researchers behind the Nature study found that the antibiotic, which they named Lugdunin, is so powerful it can even kill antibiotic resistant strains of Staph.

The researchers tested the Lugdunin antibiotic as a topical agent on mice with a Staph skin infection and found that it treated all forms of the disease effectively.

The study examined nasal swabs from 187 hospitalized patients and discovered that 30 percent of these patients carried the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium, while the antibiotic-producing bacterium Staphylococcus lugdunensis was found in 9 percent of the swabs.

Patients who carried the lugdunensis bacterium were much less likely to have a Staph colonization in their noses- in fact, only 5.9 percent had Staph, in comparison to 34.7 percent of those without the lugdunensis bacterium.

The researchers say that the results are a step forward in the efforts to avoid the rise of antibiotic-resistant “Super-bugs,” such as MRSA. However, research into new forms of antibiotics is essential.

Bernhard Krismer, the research lead author, says there’s more work to be done in other areas: “It is crucial to reduce the number of prescribed antibiotics, to sparingly use last resort antibiotics, and to dramatically reduce the number of antibiotics in animal breeding.”