New 'sliding' cream could help win the superbug war
A cream that causes bacteria to slide off the skin could be a turning point in the fight against superbugs, scientists believe.
The pioneering treatment, which was tested on laboratory-grown "model" skin, prevents infection without directly killing bacteria and promoting antibiotic resistance. It could be ready for clinical trials in as little as three years.
Bacteria invading a wound or bed sore attach themselves to the skin by hijacking sticky patches on human cells.
Sheffield-based scientists discovered that proteins called tetraspanins made the patches much less sticky, allowing the dangerous bugs to be harmlessly washed away.
Further work is expected to produce a cream or gel that can be applied directly to the skin or more efficient dressings.
The research was funded by the charity Age UK.