Tapeworm drug effectively treats MRSA in lab study

A common tapeworm drug called niclosamide has potential to be a new tool against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to research from Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Researchers tested both niclosamide and a closely related veterinary parasite drug, oxyclozanide — two salicylanilide anthelmintic drugs — on MRSA cultures in lab dishes and preserved the lives of nematode worms infected with the superbug.

In the experiments, even low concentrations of niclosamide and oxyclozanide saved more than 90 percent of MRSA-infected worms, compared to less than 20 percent survival among controls.

"Since niclosamide is FDA approved and all of the salicylanilide anthelmintic drugs are already out of patent, they are attractive candidates for drug repurposing and warrant further clinical investigation for treating staphylococcal infections," wrote lead author Rajmohan Rajamuthiah, a postdoctoral scholar in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital.

Because petri dishes and worms are not substitutes for people, researchers are planning further studies, including experiments using rodents.


More articles on MRSA:
Former NFL player sues team over MRSA infection
Cigarette smoke makes MRSA more aggressive, study finds
Remedy from ancient textbook could cure MRSA, scientists find


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