currentsinbiology:

Copper destroys MRSA at a touch

New research from the University of Southampton shows that copper can
destroy MRSA spread by touching and fingertip contamination of
surfaces.

Frequently-touched surfaces in busy areas – such as hospitals,
transport hubs and public buildings – are at high risk of
community-acquired and healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) caused
by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus
(MSSA).

Dr Sarah Warnes, lead author of the new research, explains: “Our
latest research shows that in simulated fingertip contamination of
surfaces with millions of MRSA or MSSA, the cells can remain alive for
long periods on non-antimicrobial surfaces – such as stainless steel –
but are killed even more rapidly than droplet contamination on copper
and copper alloys. Exposure to copper damages the bacterial respiration
and DNA, resulting in irreversible cell breakdown and death.”

This new paper, published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, demonstrates that MRSA die on copper surfaces by a multifaceted attack from copper ions and reactive oxygen species (ROS).

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