The innovators: Irish lab develops coating to ward off superbug

Hickey, S. The Guardian. Published online: 15 May 2016.

Image shows electron micrograph of Escherichia coli.

Infections such as MRSA which have developed resistance to drugs have become a notorious threat in hospitals, where the bacteria can survive on surfaces for up to seven months. But a new discovery by scientists in Ireland could soon be working to combat them.

A research team led by Prof Suresh Pillai has developed a coating for everyday objects that prevents the spread of MRSA and E coli bacteria. The coating, which can be used on items such as smartphones, door handles and remote controls as well as surgical surfaces, has a 99.99% success rate in killing the bugs.

John Browne, the chief executive of Dublin-based company Kastus, which is working to commercialise the solution, says: “It is very hard to get rid of these things once they are there. Some studies have shown that with a deep clean on an [intensive care unit] ward where there is a critical care bed in one room … the entire room is cleaned with bleach over a 24-hour period and the bacteria are back on the surface within 24 hours.”

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research article here

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