The Dutch company, Micreos, launched the first  bacteria-killing enzyme specific to Staphylococcus aureus, which is equally effective in killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).

Staphylococcus aureus Image/CDC
Staphylococcus aureus

Endolysin Staphefekt™ is the first such treatment available for human use on intact skin that has multiple benefits as compared to antibiotics.

It lyses the target bacteria rapidly while leaving beneficial bacteria unharmed.

Resistance like that found with antibiotics is unlikely as Staphefekt™ works independently of the bacterial metabolism and targets a region of the bacterial cell wall less susceptible to mutation.

Dr Bjorn Herpers, Clinical Microbiologist, MD, PhD at Public Health Lab, Kennemerland, speaking at Antibiotics alternatives for the new millennium in London said:

“The results are exciting, and demonstrate the potential this technology has to revolutionize the way we treat certain bacterial infections. With the increasing prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria, new strategies for the treatment of bacterial infections are needed.

“As well as being less prone to resistance induction than antibiotics, endolysins destroy only their target bacterial species, leaving the beneficial bacteria alone.”

“With the introduction of Staphefekt™, we enter a new era in the fight against antibiotic resistant bacteria, targeting only the unwanted bacteria. This is a far more logical and elegant approach. Millions of people stand to benefit. That’s very exciting and gratifying.”

Endolysins are enzymes that originate from bacteriophages (or phages), microorganisms that kill only bacteria. In nature, phages use bacteria to replicate, in the process destroying the bacterial cell wall with endolysins. The working mechanism of endolysins is unrelated to that of antibiotics, meaning even bacteria resistant to antibiotics are susceptible.