Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is an infection that has wreaked havoc in hospitals and nursing homes. Due to its resistance to antibiotics and antivirals, it's also become a problem in gyms and schools as well. Researchers at the University of South of Florida may have an answer however. A sponge that is found near Palmer Station in Antarctica, the dendrite membranosa, was synthesized by USF scientists. An extract from it, darwinolide, could be effective against MRSA.
The problem with MRSA resistance is that it forms a biofilm over tissue that drugs cannot penetrate. The extract from the sponge found in the Arctic was able to break down this biofilm in 98% of the cells after being exposed to it. Getting through this barrier is a key development in being able to kill the bacteria in MRSA and prevent the devastating damage it does.