Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium which has a kick to it. Many of its strains are being referred to as MRSA, i.e. they can often no longer be treated with conventional pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics (c.f. antibiotic resistance). In patients with weak immune systems, infection with S. aureus may result in serious health issues, including death. For hospitals and clinics, in particular, multi-resistant pathogens have become a more and more serious issue, with no satisfactory solution in sight.
In a comprehensive screening, scientists have now identified a natural lactic acid bacterium (Lactobacillus gasseri) able to bind a resistant bacterium on the skin or when disinfecting wounds, rendering it harmless. More precisely, it is only the bacterial cell wall to which the S. aureus bacterium latches itself, removing its ability to move and propagate. In a complex process, the bacterial cell walls are isolated and marketed under the name dermasana. Patents have been applied for and have in parts already been granted. Currently, the first clinical study is in evaluation.
This is just one further example which showcases nature’s ability to maintain a healthy balance between different bacteria. Often, an imbalance between the various – healthy and pathogenic – bacteria which occur naturally in our bodies will be the result of our own actions: Poor diets strain bacterial diversity in the gut, excessive hygiene damages the skin’s natural protective properties, frequent antibiotic treatments make many people resistant. A dangerous development. Often, a solution can be found in nature. Hence, companies all over the world continue to research bacteria’s mechanisms of action so we can use these healthy bacteria to treat or prevent diseases.