For several years scientists and researchers have warned the American public that overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and medicine was quickly reducing their effectiveness in curing bacterial infections, raising the nightmarish specter of a future in which people could die from common infections. We may now have taken a crucial step towards addressing antibiotic resistance: a Dutch biotech firm named Micreos has successfully tested a new, antibiotic-free drug. Time:
A small patient trial showed that the new treatment was effective at eradicating the MRSA superbug which is resistant to most antibiotics. The drug is already available as a cream for skin infections and researchers hope to create a pill or an injectable version of it in the next five years […]Scientists say this new technology is less prone to resistance than antibiotics because the treatment attacks infections in a completely different way. The treatment uses enzymes called endolysins — naturally occurring viruses that attack certain bacterial species but leave beneficial microbes alone.
We’ll have to wait to see if these results can be replicated, of course, but the first trials are encouraging. If this drug really does work, scientists may have taken the first step toward innovating our way out of the worst-case scenario.