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Re-sensitizing Resistant Bacteria

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Researchers use a protein-lipid complex found in human breast milk to increase the activity of otherwise-ineffective antibiotics against drug-resistant pathogens. A protein-lipid complex that naturally occurs in human breast milk can increase the sensitivity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other drug-resistant strains to multiple classes of antibiotics in animal models, according to a study published yesterday (May 1) in the PLOS ONE.

The findings suggest that the molecule—known as HAMLET (human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells)—could be useful as an antimicrobial adjuvant to boost otherwise ineffective antibiotics against MRSA and other “superbugs” that can cause lethal infectious outbreaks in hospitals.

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