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Potential weak spot in MRSA identified

Tuesday 27th January 2009
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Scientists have discovered what they believe may be a way of combating the hospital superbug MRSA.

In news which may be of particular interest to people with sterile services jobs, a team from Imperial College London claim that they have visualised an enzyme that lives in the bacterium and helps it to spread through the human body.

Their study, which is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, raises hope for the development of new drugs which seek out the enzyme and disable it.

"If we're to develop a drug which disables [the enzyme] from doing its job, then we need to make sure the drug molecule is as perfectly matched as possible to the enzyme's binding site, so it can trick the enzyme into taking it up," Professor Paul Freemont from Imperial's Division of Molecular Biosciences said.

He added that once the drug is bound to the enzyme, it will be able to begin to "sabotage" MRSA.

Imperial's Division of Molecular Biosciences aims to understand the function of cells at the molecular level.

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