Scientists have stumbled upon a central processing unit (CPU) of a superbug's weaponry which will provide new options to fight back and disable the virulent bacteria.
A team from the McMaster University's Institute for Infectious Disease Research has revealed that a small chemical, made by the superbug Staphylococcus aureus and its drug-resistant forms, determines this disease’s strength and ability to infect.
The bacteria are the cause for a wide range of difficult-to-treat human infectious diseases such as pneumonia, toxic-shock syndrome and flesh-eating diseases.
It is known as the superbug as it has become increasingly resistant to antibiotics and especially troublesome in hospitals.
“We've found that when these small chemicals in the bacteria are shut down, the bacteria is rendered non-functional and non-infectious,” said Nathan Magarvey, principal study investigator and assistant professor of biochemistry at McMaster. "We're now set on hacking into this pathogen and making its system crash." These findings appeared in Science.
To identify these “pathogen small molecule CPUs”, the researchers used cutting-edge chemical mining tools to reveal the molecular wiring associated with their formation.
Then, to uncover its function, the McMaster scientists shut off its synthesis, showing that the deadly pathogens had been tamed and were unable to burst open red blood cells, said a McMaster's statement.