OREANDA-NEWS. For the first time, Spanish specialists have managed to modify bacteria to fight antibiotic-resistant microbes. They form biofilms on the surface of catheters, pacemakers, joint prostheses and other medical implants. Thus, these micro-substances can become a real «living medicine». This is written by the publication Molecular Systems Biology.

It is noted that the surfaces of medical implants provide excellent conditions for the growth of biological films. They form impenetrable structures that do not allow antibiotics or the human immune system to destroy the bacteria embedded in them. Pathogenic microorganisms associated with biofilms are thousands of times more resistant to antibiotics than separately existing bacteria. They account for up to 80% of all infections.

The most active of the bacteria forming biofilms is Staphylococcus aureus. The infections caused by it are not treatable with conventional antibiotics. This will require surgical removal of infected medical implants. Alternative treatments using antibodies or broad-spectrum enzymes are very toxic to healthy tissues and cause undesirable side effects, experts say.

Scientists from Barcelona proposed using microorganisms — bacteria that produce these enzymes themselves — for targeted delivery of enzymes directly to biofilms. They consider this method to be a safe and cheap way to treat infections resulting from medical intervention. It is claimed that this is an ideal vector of delivery to the body.

The treatment method was tested on laboratory mice injected with infected catheters. Injections of a drug containing modified Mycoplasma pneumoniae bacteria with a shortened genome allowed 82% of infected animals to be cured. The researchers plan to conduct clinical trials in 2023 and after that move to large-scale production of «live drugs».