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Antimicrobial Peptide from Ancient Organism May Be Effective Against Multiresistant Human Pathogens Including MRSA

Researchers in Germany have identified a new antimicrobial peptide that demonstrates significant activity against a variety of bacteria, including multiresistant human strains such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). The discovery was made while investigating the ancient metazoan organism Hydra magnipapillata.

The researchers from Christian-Albrechts-University and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein Campus, Kiel, Germany report their findings in the December 2009 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

While occurrences of multidrug-resistant infections continue to increase, the discovery and development of drugs effective against these bacterial strains have slowed. Once commonly thought of as a hospital-acquired infection, MRSA has now spread to the community (now known as community acquired or CA-MRSA) and is infecting previously healthy young people who have not been recently hospitalized or undergone a medical procedure. Past research has proven that ancient organisms are well equipped at preventing infectious pathogens from entering the body and given the desperate need for new drug targets, further exploration of these organisms is warranted.
 
 

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