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Targeting pathogenic bacteria through the manufacture of new antibiotic substances from amoebae.
Director Dr Maciver receives a SMART award from The First Minister Henry McLeish  

The discovery of conventional antibiotics has perhaps been the single most important medical advance made to date.   The great plaques are things of the past.   However, there are worrying signs that we should not be complacent as bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics have been reported; new types of antibiotics are urgently required.  Two bacteria in particular, Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli 0157:H7 have recently made the headlines.  The former is the source of MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) a wound infection picked up post-operatively from the hospital environment.  In addition to the obvious risk to the patient, this disease has lead to many expensive closures of hospital theatres to eradicate the bacteria. E.coli 0157:H7 is also giving cause for alarm especially in Scotland where for poorly understood reasons we seem to have a particular problem.  The company aims to tackle pathogenic bacteria in general but Staphylococcus aureus and E.coli 0157:H7 in particular through the production of new antibiotic substances from amoeba that will target and destroy the bacteria.  If the company is ultimately successful, we will be able to treat MRSA infected patients and to use similar technology to neutralise the threat of E.coli 0157:H7 in local water supplies.

Staphylococcus by T.Foster Staphylococci - The Emerging Threat
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