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.