New plasma jet gives 'cold' shoulder to 'superbugs'
Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have developed a new technique which has the potential to kill off hospital superbugs like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, C. difficile and MRSA.
As revealed in the most recent edition of leading journal PloS One, the novel method uses a cold plasma jet to rapidly penetrate dense bacterial structures known as biofilms which bind bacteria together and make them resistant to conventional chemical approaches. The new approach developed by scientists in the School of Mathematics and Physics and the School of Pharmacy at Queen's passes electrical currents through flowing gas mixtures to create a wide variety of reactive species. These then effectively penetrate biofilms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and MRSA and rapidly kill the bacteria within.
Currently antibiotics and disinfectants are used to target bugs in hospitals like Pseudomonas aeruginosa, C. difficile and MRSA. Effective in killing individual bacteria, they are often ineffective against complex organised communities of bacteria.
Professor Bill Graham, from the Centre for Plasma Physics at Queen's, said: "When bacteria congregate on surfaces they produce a kind of glue which joins them together in complex communities, known as biofilms. Instead of individual bacteria, they form a resistant film or layer and bind themselves together. This often makes it impossible for antibiotics to penetrate through and kill the bacteria deep within this protective layer. Bacteria growing like this, as is often seen with superbugs in hospitals, are often more than 1000 times more tolerant to antimicrobial agents like antibiotics and disinfectants compared to free-floating bacteria.
"The technique we've used, known as a cold plasma jet, creates a number of agents which rapidly kill bacteria, even within mature biofilms. Not only does it attack the bacteria but this synergistic approach attacks the biofilm structure killing the bacteria deep within." Dr Brendan Gilmore, from the School of Pharmacy at Queen's, said: "In the present study we have looked at Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which causes a number of serious infections in patients with chronic lung disease like cystic fibrosis, wounds and hospital acquired infections. It is particularly harmful to hospital patients with compromised immune systems. Other applications could include MRSA and other drug resistance superbugs like C. difficile and its spores. We are currently investigating these and some types of viruses.
"This approach has the potential to control hospital superbugs. These 'cold' plasmas could be used widely in hospitals, surgeries and in the community as hand held devices for rapid decontamination of surfaces, including the skin, or be incorporated into bigger devices for decontamination of larger areas. Their ability to rapidly decontaminate surfaces has the potential to curb the spread of harmful bacteria, including multidrug resistant bacteria such as MRSA."
More information: The paper can be viewed online at www.plosone.org/ar… pone.0044289
Journal reference: PLoS ONE
Provided by Queen's University Belfast
- Viruses help scientists battle pathogenic bacteria and improve water supply Sep 24, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Disinfectants may promote growth of superbugs Dec 27, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Plasma therapy: An alternative to antibiotics? Dec 15, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers find compound effective in destroying antibiotic-resistant biofilms Apr 08, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Scientists develope new agents to battle MRSA Mar 25, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
5 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
The human gut is loaded with commensal bacteria – "good" microbes that, among other functions, help the body digest food. The gastrointestinal tract contains literally trillions of such cells, and yet the ...
Medical research 3 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
Medical research 6 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age. The method is demonstrated by the laboratory of Dr. Gil Atzmon at New York's Albert Einste ...
Medical research 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
Medical research 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Medical researchers discover new ways to target, develop and design drugs to prevent and treat viral infection
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new drug target, developed a new drug and identified a new way to design drugs—all of which could be a winning combination in the battle against viruses.
Medical research 5 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
7 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Scientists have reversed behavioral and brain abnormalities in adult mice that resemble some features of schizophrenia by restoring normal expression to a suspect gene that is over-expressed in humans with ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have unraveled the molecular foundations of cocaine's effects on the brain, and identified a compound that blocks cravings for the drug in cocaine-addicted mice. The compound, already proven safe ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
University of Granada scientists have patented a new treatment for acne that is based on completely natural substances and is much more effective than artificial formulas because it does not create resistance ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Costs to treat stroke are projected to more than double and the number of people having strokes may increase 20 percent by 2030, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
The new 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) appears to be as safe as the previous version used prior to 2010, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), according to a Kaiser Permanente study published ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0