Sunday, July 10, 2011

Power Paint Pummels MRSA

Scientists are continually looking for new methods by which to combat dangerous pathogens such as methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as MRSA. A new way they have discovered that may prevent the spreading of MRSA is through an antimicrobial coating that can be added to paint that destroys those particular bacteria. According to an M2PressWIRE article, "In tests, 100 percent of MRSA in solution were killed within 20 minutes of contact with a surface painted with latex paint laced with the coating" (Rensselaer 1). This paint is safe to everything except for MRSA and can be used on a variety of surfaces. This paint potentially will be a great asset to hospitals and other health care facilities trying to prevent MRSA infections.

Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus affects approximately 53,000,000 people throughout the world and has caused a significant amount of hospitalizations and deaths. (Dordick 3). These bacteria operate by using endopeptidases, amidases, and muramidases to damage the cell walls of their victims, allowing them to infect the cell (Dordick 4).

The MRSA killing coating works by using an enzyme secreted by nonpathogenic types of Staphylococcus to defend against staphylococcus aureus. This enzyme, lysostaphin, joined with a carbon nanotube is embedded into a polymer allowing it to be more stable and flexible, increasing its ability to connect to MRSA (Rensselaer 2). After connecting to the MRSA bacteria, lysostaphin begins to break down the peptidoglycan portion of the cell wall by destroying its pentaglycine bridges (Rennsselaer 2). This lyses the cell wall and spills the cell contents, killing the bacteria. As said by Ravi Kane, this method is, "very effective. If you put a tiny amount of lysostaphin in a solution with Staphylococcus aureus, you'll see the bacteria die almost immediately" (Rensselaer 2).

This method of killing MRSA is better than other coatings and ways of fighting these bacteria. Some coatings use biocides to kill the bacteria. However,they also can be harmful to other organisms and lose potency when there biocides enter the surroundings (Rensselaer 2). Other paints may use amphipatic polycations or anitmicrobial peptides against MRSA, but they sometimes clog causing the coating to be less effective. Also, the lysostaphin coating does not use antibiotics, which helps to reduce anitbiotic resistance building.

The lysostaphin coating can be mixed with paint or used to coat a variety of objects such as door handles, medical masks, stethoscopes and other medical paraphernalia. It can be cleaned many times and still be successful in destroying MRSA. Due to its selective nature, the lysostaphin coating has no side effects to human cells that may come in contact with it. This coating could definitely become a great asset in creating a safe environment for hospital patients by helping prevent the spread of MRSA.

Works Cited

Dordick, Jonathan S. "Antistaphylococcal nanocompsite films based on enzyme-nanotube conjugates." ACS Nano 4.7 (2010): 39930 4000. Medline. Ebsco. Web. 10 July 2011.

"Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Researchers Develop Coating That Safely Kills MRSA on Contact; scanning electron microscopy image of nanocomposite film." M2PressWIRE (2010): Newspaper Source Plus. Ebsco. Web. 10 July 2011.

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