Nanosponge Fights Off Deadly Infection
Nanoengineers have developed a particle that may act as a vaccine to neutralize a lethal antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Made of a polymer encased in a red blood cell membrane, the “toxoid vaccine” created by University of California, San Diego researchers sponges up toxins released by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The bacteria is responsible for an estimated 11,000 deaths and 80,000 infections annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The scientists used their innovation on MRSA-infected mice and found that once the nanovaccine had found and seized the toxin excreted by the bacteria, the body’s immune system was able to identify it and mount a defense. Mice injected with otherwise lethal doses of the bacteria fought off the infection.