North­eastern University’s Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Biology Kim Lewis has over­come a leading public health threat: treating and elim­i­nating methi­cillin resis­tant staphy­lo­coccus aureus, more com­monly known as MRSA, or a “superbug”. The new, ground­breaking study was pub­lished Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The “superbug” infects approx­i­mately 1 mil­lion Amer­i­cans each year and kills tens of thou­sands. MRSA can cause the devel­op­ment of chronic infec­tions such as osteomyelitis (bone infec­tion), endo­carditis (heart infec­tion), or infec­tions of implanted med­ical devices. According to the CDC, these infec­tions are often incur­able, even with antibiotics.

MRSA is a bac­teria that actively resists cer­tain antibi­otics, which is why it has fas­ci­nated the sci­en­tific and med­ical com­mu­ni­ties and, of course, the media. But according to a press release from North­eastern, Lewis, who is also the director of Northeastern’s Antimi­cro­bial Dis­covery Center, sus­pected that a dif­ferent adap­tive func­tion of bac­teria might be the true cul­prit in making these infec­tions so devastating.

 

Read the article at Boston Magazine →