Researchers create antibiotic-free approach to tackle superbug

The use of antibiotic-free nanocapsules could help prevent and treat Helicobacter pylori infections, according to a study published in ACS Applied Bio Materials.

The nanocapsules, made of only food- and pharmaceutical-grade ingredients, effectively blocked H. pylori from adhering to stomach cells and causing infection.

About 4.4 billion people worldwide carry H. pylori bacteria, which can cause ulcers and chronic inflammation of the stomach lining. Current treatment often involves the use of several antibiotics, which promotes resistance.

"The bacteria hide under the gastric mucus layer where antibiotics do not penetrate effectively," study co-author Francisco Goycoolea, PhD, a professor at University of Leeds' School of Food Science and Nutrition in England, said in a news release. "This often leads to recurrent infections and gives rise to resistant strains."

Researchers said the nanocapsules are a promising candidate that could serve as an alternative or complementary treatment for H. pylori infections.

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