One step closer to the treatment of a major source of infections

04 May 2018 | Back to News, Publications and Annual Reports

Rhesus macaques may be relevant to the development of anti-bacterial therapies

Bacteria can be found everywhere. They can even be found on your body, as well as inside your body. Generally, they will cause you no harm. Quite the contrary, many of them have a positive effect on your health. Some of them do not, though. For instance, bacteria that end up in your wound during surgery may cause very serious problems.

Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is quite common in humans, living in their nose or on their skin. The presence of this bacterium may form a source of infection in patients undergoing surgery. As an added problem, this bacterium may prove insensitive to many types of antibiotics. Therefore, new therapies seek to remove the bacterium prior to an operation – an intervention that has been shown to be able to prevent infection.

No suitable animal models available just yet

These types of therapies can, to some extent, be tested in humans, subject to many restrictions. However, more research is required to help us find solutions to this type of infection. Which is where animal models come in. Unfortunately, no suitable animal models are available just yet. This may change, though.

Rhesus macaques may be of some use

Rhesus macaques are closely related to humans, and we have found that some of them naturally carry the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium. In association with another Dutch research group, BPRC-affiliated researchers have now determined whether it is possible to remove this bacterium. Furthermore, they investigated whether artificially administered bacteria remained present in the monkey.

Science has made it to the next level

So what was the main conclusion drawn after this study? That rhesus macaques may serve as a relevant model for the development of therapies designed to eliminate the bacterium – for instance, to prevent problems in patients undergoing surgery! This study result has taken science to the next level.

For more information,

read the article in PloS