The problem of hospital infection, severe disease caused by antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus bacteria, entails major costs and great suffering. Group A streptococcus bacteria, also called meat-eating killer bacteria, are another growing problem. A team of Lund scientists in Sweden has now developed a substance called Cystapep, which seems to work on bacteria that nothing else seems to be able to knock out.
If Cystapep delivers what it promises, this is nothing short of sensational. Sweden is in a better position than other countries when it comes to antibiotic resistance, but in other parts of the world dangerous strains of bacteria have developed resistance to most of the antibiotics doctors have in their arsenal, and the problem is growing worse every year in Sweden as well.
Cystapep took its name from the fact that it is a peptide (a small molecule) that is based on a larger protein called cystatin. Cystatin occurs in various forms in the body and is part of our natural protection against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The Lund researchers Aftab Jasir and Claes Schalén, medical microbiology, and Anders Grubb, clinical chemistry, have collaborated with a team of Polish scientists to cultivate and develop the segment of cystatin C protein that has proven to provide the best protection.
Ingela Björck | alfa
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