Researchers may have a new foothold in their advances against antibiotic-resistant infections: fat.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus causes the majority of deaths from antibiotic-resistant infections in the US—over 30,000 annually. MRSA’s insidiousness is linked to its ability to suck in lipids from human blood and consolidate them into its own cell membrane to combat antimicrobials that target fatty acid production. Using mass spectrometry, researchers were able to see just how MRSA secretes enzymes that soak up these lipids. Understanding this process will hopefully lead to improved antibacterial agents like triclosan that work by obstructing fatty acid synthesis in bacteria.