Scientists uncover workings of hospital superbug

March 3rd, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 3 (ANI): An international team of scientists has uncovered the workings of a superbug that kills elderly hospital patients worldwide.

The team, led by Monash University researchers, said that the discovery has the potential to save lives and health care systems billions of dollars each year.

The research unravelled ways to genetically modify the bacterium Clostridium difficile and solved the mystery surrounding its toxicity.

Professor Julian Rood from the Department of Microbiology and lead author, microbiologist Dr Dena Lyras, made a major scientific breakthrough, which allowed mutants of the superbug to be made.

They then identified which of two suspected toxic proteins was essential for the bacterium to cause severe disease.

“Contrary to previously accepted scientific belief, our results show that toxin B, which was considered the less important toxin is actually the toxin that causes disease. This discovery will lead to new methods for the control and prevention of this disease, Rood said.

The study has been published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature. (ANI)

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