A gold pill could be our superbug secret weapon

A gold pill could be our superbug secret weapon
The future path of antibiotics may be paved in gold
The future path of antibiotics may be paved in gold
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The future path of antibiotics may be paved in gold
The future path of antibiotics may be paved in gold

There’s no underselling the role antibiotics has had on our lives; when widespread use of penicillin ushered in the ‘golden age’ of antibiotics after World War II, and discovery of many new antibiotics, the infectious diseases that used to be massive killers seemed a thing of the past. Prior to the 20th century, the average life expectancy in the US was 47. As of 2021, it was 76.4.

However, given that bacteria is the oldest form of life on earth, it’s no surprise it’s been able to fight back. Helping this is its dazzling ability to reproduce, meaning that any microbes that evolve to be resistant to drugs can quickly dominate a population, rendering the antibiotic ineffective.

The latest promising research on fighting these stubborn, smart superbugs is, quite simply, gold. Presenting their novel research in Copenhagen this week, researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found very promising results when they lined up 19 gold compounds against several types of multidrug-resistant bacteria isolated from patients.

With its antibacterial properties, it’s not the first time the precious mineral has been touted as a potential life-saver, with research into gold nanoparticles on their own, and also combined with infrared light treatments, to fight off infections.

Metalloantibiotics – compounds with a gold ion at their core – has the potential to kill bacteria and prevent its adaptation to form resistance.

"Gold complexes use a variety of techniques to kill bacteria," said Sara Soto Gonzalez of the Barcelona institute. "They stop enzymes from working, disrupt the function of the bacterial membrane and damage DNA.”

The team tested the gold compounds against bugs including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Staphylococcus epidermidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Acinetobacter baumannii and bacterial pneumonia.

There was evidence of high efficacy against MRSA and S. epidermis in 16 of the 19 compounds, and 16 were effective in fighting gram-negative bacteria – the types with the greatest resistance to current antibiotics.

"It is particularly exciting to see that some of the gold complexes were effective against MRSA and multidrug-resistant A. baumannii, as [these are the} two biggest causes of hospital-acquired infections," Soto Gonzalez said. "With research on other types of gold metalloantibiotics also providing promising results, the future is bright for gold-based antibiotics.”

While in a preliminary study stage, the researchers point out that development of this kind of antibiotic would be neither expensive nor difficult.

“The type of gold complexes we studied, known as gold (III) complexes, are relatively straightforward and inexpensive to make,” Soto Gonzalez added. “They can also be easily modified and so provide a vast amount of scope for drug development."

The new research paper will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Copenhagen between April 15-18.

Source: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Indian Ayurveda has formulations using Gold and even mercury since thousands of years but sadly Americans Medical Institutions banned those drugs saying it contained heavy metals rather than studying it. When something is in use for thousands of years and is healing people, then that is a candidate for study not banning. Here Science has lost and political science, business have taken over it.
Expanded Viewpoint
Well DUUUUH!! Silver has been used as an antibiotic, antiseptic and preservative for thousands of years now! Whenever I think that my immune system needs a little bit of help, I make up some colloidal silver using some pure silver wire and a small wall transformer and filtered or distilled water. Usually about 8 ounces over two days fixes me right up! I have promoted it to my friends and relatives since the early 90s, and no one yet has suffered any kind of ill effects from it!
The article fails to mention the mechanism by which such gold particles kill bacteria. It does suggest that it works via the creation of electrical potential across the gold’s surface that ruptures bacteria’s outer membranes, much as copper surfaces do, but the article should have been more specific.
@Expanded Viewpoint---The old battery (or wall 'transformer') and silver wire trick makes primarily IONIC silver, not colloidal silver.
There's much better ways to make colloids that aren't heavily contaminated with their ionic forms.
Taken properly and in the correct doses (you're not) is much more beneficial and less prone to causing argyria too.

You should consult a formally trained and licensed practitioner.
@Zort Pretty soon, there may be human-based Smurfs all over the land!