The innovators: Irish lab develops coating to ward off superbug

Hickey, S. The Guardian. Published online: 15 May 2016.

http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/result.html?_IXMAXHITS_=1&_IXACTION_=query&_IXFIRST_=26&_IXSR_=Y1PTh2TptHP&_IXSS_=_IXFPFX_%3dtemplates%252ft%26_IXMAXHITS_%3d250%26c%3d%2522historical%2bimages%2522%2bOR%2b%2522contemporary%2bimages%2522%2bOR%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bOR%2b%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%26_IXFIRST_%3d1%26%252asform%3dwellcome%252dimages%26%2524%2b%2528%2528with%2bwi_sfgu%2bis%2bY%2529%2band%2bnot%2b%2528%2522contemporary%2bclinical%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2bor%2b%2522corporate%2bimages%2522%2bindex%2bwi_collection%2529%2529%2band%2bnot%2bwith%2bsys_deleted%3d%252e%26%2524%253dsi%3dtext%26_IXACTION_%3dquery%26%3d%26_IXrescount%3d108%26_IXINITSR_%3dy%26%2524%253dsort%3dsort%2bsortexpr%2bimage_sort%26_IXshc%3dy%26%2524%253ds%3de%2bcoli&_IXSPFX_=templates%2ft&_IXFPFX_=templates%2ft
Image source: David Gregory & Debbie Marshall – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows electron micrograph of Escherichia coli.

Infections such as MRSA which have developed resistance to drugs have become a notorious threat in hospitals, where the bacteria can survive on surfaces for up to seven months. But a new discovery by scientists in Ireland could soon be working to combat them.

A research team led by Prof Suresh Pillai has developed a coating for everyday objects that prevents the spread of MRSA and E coli bacteria. The coating, which can be used on items such as smartphones, door handles and remote controls as well as surgical surfaces, has a 99.99% success rate in killing the bugs.

John Browne, the chief executive of Dublin-based company Kastus, which is working to commercialise the solution, says: “It is very hard to get rid of these things once they are there. Some studies have shown that with a deep clean on an [intensive care unit] ward where there is a critical care bed in one room … the entire room is cleaned with bleach over a 24-hour period and the bacteria are back on the surface within 24 hours.”

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research article here

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