Three novel treatments for bacterial diseases show high bactericidal effects, giving hope to a future without antibiotics. As antibiotic resistance continues to threaten global health, and with the progress of antibiotic discovery having slowed down dramatically in recent years, the demand for alternative methods of treating the ever-growing list of bacterial diseases has become increasingly urgent. In a paper published in Biorxiv in the last quarter of 2015, Kim & Gaitas  explore three novel methods of eliminating Staphylococcus aureus from blood in vitro. These involve capturing pathogens using an antibody-coated tube, killing pathogens using near infrared light, and killing pathogens using ultraviolet light. The authors investigate the viability of these antibiotic-free techniques as options for the treatment of S. aureus infections and address limitations and future research to improve and expand the application of these methodologies to other bacterial diseases. Fig 1 illustrates the experimental setup. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium responsible for a wide range of diseases including food poisoning and skin and bone infections. Penicillin, which was used to treat S. aureus, was quickly rendered useless as the bacterium evolved to produce penicillinase, an enzyme that breaks the penicillin molecule apart. As a result, penicillinase-resistant antibiotics such as methicillin and oxacillin were developed. Widespread use of these antibiotics led to the emergence of new strains of the bacterium, methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and oxacillin-resistant S. aureus (ORSA).
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