Of all the gross things that the human body can produce -- and let's face it folks, we can get pretty gnarly sometimes -- mucus has to be near the top of the heap. As unpleasant as it may be, though, that gunk does serve an important purpose, trapping bacteria and viruses before they can further infect your body. Now, MIT researchers are exploring the possibility that mucus could have the same disease preventing properties outside of your body, preventing bacteria from forming fortresses called biofilms.
According to a study presented at infectious disease conference IDWeek, screening for diseases like MRSA as patients enter intensive care units is less effective than hosing them down with antibacterial solutions once a day. Which we kind of thought would be standard? Because you know, germs in an ICU seems like a thing you want want to exterminate with extreme prejudice rather than just be aware of, right?
Superbugs, bacteria that develop in hospitals and are tough to kill with traditional antibiotics and antibacterials cleaning agents, are a growing problem in hospitals worldwide. Researchers at Queen's University Belfast may have found a chink in the armor of these hospital-acquired diseases like MRSA, a drug resistant strain of staph infection that killed nearly 20,000 Americans in 2005. A blast from a jet of electrically infused plasma may be just what the doctor ordered, breaking up the drug resistant colonies, called biofilms, formed by many of these bacteria and making them easier to kill as individuals.