Researchers Discover Antarctica Sponge, Can It Eliminate MRSA?

First Posted: May 19, 2016 07:39 AM EDT

Antarctica waters have been found to have a sponge than could wipe away the methicillin-resistant staphylococcal aureus, MRSA, a common resistant bacteria that significantly contribute to tough infections.  A research group led by Dr. Shaw of University of South Florida, have been studying the sponge and recently discovered a breakthrough that can effectively fight the bacteria cells.

The Antarctica sponge called Dendrilla membranosa, has been proven to be effective in fighting the 98 percent MRSA bacteria cells. The compound extracted from the sponge has been named by the team as "darwinolide". In a paper published in 1995 by the team, it mentioned a site in Antartica, the McMurdo Sound, as the home of a large group of corals, sponges, echinoderms and other invertebrates, which were found to develop in the area's sub-freezing temperature and periodic low-light rates.

Based on the 1995 study, there were notable extracts from the current species found in an array of cytotoxic and bioactive behavioral and antibiotic properties. In addition to this, other laboratories have further discovered the regional marine species to have antiviral and antineoplastic activity, according to UPI.

Based on reports, two millions of Americans have been infected with drug-resistant bacteria every year in the country and there are about 23,000 deaths due to drug resistant infections. Antibiotic resistance is fatal enough, and will become more if no alternative treatment will be made. The MRSA has been linked to infections acquired in the healthcare facilities and may be found as well in places where there is a high incidence of multi-drug and lethal strains of MRSA.

Considering that Antarctica's Dendrilla membranosa had never been hunted yet, it could be an indication that it contains some type of chemical compound that protects it. According to Professor Bill Baker of University of South Florida, based on the screening made for darwinolide against MRSA, they discovered that 1.6 percent only of the bacterium was able to grow and survive. This implies that darwinolide could be a good basis for an effective antibiotic to fight against the biofilms,  Science Daily reported.

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