Researchers discover molecule that could fight ‘superbug’ bacteria

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CORVALLIS, OR (KGW/WCMH) – Health officials say 700,000 people worldwide will die this year from bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics.

Now, researchers at Oregon State University have made a breakthrough discovery that could save millions of lives, and the discovery is getting worldwide attention.

Dr. Bruce Geller teaches microbiology at Oregon State University. He’s been researching antibiotic resistant germs and bacteria for 17 years. His discovery of a new molecule is considered a life-saving discovery.

The discovery comes just months after a Nevada woman died after a bacterial infection set in following a broken leg. That particular strain was resistant to 26 antibiotics. The molecule Dr. Geller discovered neutralizes the bacteria’s ability to destroy the antibiotic.

“This molecule, our molecule, gets inside a bacterium and it shuts down the gene that controls the resistance mechanism,” Dr. Geller told KGW.

The next step of the process is human trials, including toxicity testing and establishing the proper dosage for humans.

“I would say if it all goes as planned, it’s possible we could have this on the market in four to five years,” Dr. Geller said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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