Antarctic sponge may hold key to eliminating MRSA

Tampa-based University of South Florida scientists recently discovered an extract from a marine sponge found in Antarctica may help eliminate methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Bill Baker, PhD, director of the USF Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation, led the research team that retrieved the marine invertebrate from the frigid Antarctic waters.

The team discovered the sponge extract, known as Dendrilla membranosa, produces a natural chemical. They rearranged the chemical composition of the sponge extract, calling the new chemical "darwinolide." Laboratory tests found the rearranged chemical could eliminate more than 98 percent of MRSA cells.

"We suggest that darwinolide may present a highly suitable scaffold for the development of urgently needed, novel antibiofilm-specific antibiotics," concluded Dr. Baker.



More articles on staph infections:
Household contamination linked with recurrent MRSA infections
Researchers look to mushroom isolates to develop antibiotics
Intervention reduces staph infections in hospital NICU: 5 things to know

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