The World Health Organization counts millions of deaths every year as a result of infections with resistant germs. Researchers from Sweden are now developing a new spray against it. What makes the killer germs so dangerous.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), they are among the ten greatest threats to global health: Resistant germs kill millions of people every year. Around 1.3 million people died in 2019 because antibiotics failed to treat their infections.

The resistant pathogens are also a problem in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), there are an estimated 400,000 to 600,000 infections and around 10,000 to 20,000 deaths as a result.

Researchers from Sweden have now apparently succeeded in developing a spray against such germs. “Our innovation can have a double effect in the fight against antibiotic resistance,” study author Martin Andersson from Chalmers University of Technology classifies the results. “The material has been shown to be effective against many different types of bacteria, including those that are resistant to antibiotics.” What is meant by dual action is this:

The team cites catheters as an example of the effect on medical devices: “Although the catheters are sterile when unpacked, when they are inserted into the body they can become contaminated with bacteria, which can lead to an infection. A major advantage of this coating is that the bacteria are killed as soon as they come into contact with the surface.” Another reason is that it can be applied to existing products that are already used in healthcare, so no new products are made must.

However, this does not solve the problem of antibiotic resistance. Because the product has yet to be brought to market. It remains to be seen how effective it will be in everyday clinical practice.

Bacterial infections can usually be treated well with antibiotics. But the funds are not effective against all bacteria, writes the portal “patient”. They are insensitive to many antibiotics, which is why we are talking about multi-resistant pathogens (abbreviated: MRE). The usual medications don’t work for them.

“Multi-resistant bacteria mainly develop because antibiotics are not used correctly, i.e. too often, too short or too low a dose,” explains the portal. Your genome changes and adapts, which means that antibiotics no longer work.

The resistant pathogens are particularly dangerous for people with previous illnesses. While they are generally harmless to healthy people, they can cause infections in those with a weakened immune system. Their treatment is then in turn more difficult – because most antibiotics do not work.

The portal lists pneumonia, urinary tract infections, wound or skin infections as common bacterial infections. “If the bacteria spread through the blood in the body, this is called blood poisoning. In the worst case, organ functions can fail. It can be life-threatening,” it said.

There are several factors that increase the risk of developing a dangerous infection with MDRO. This includes the portal:

In general, however, healthy people who are not immunocompromised should also pay attention to the factors mentioned above. Because they can carry the pathogens without realizing it – and then pass them on to those who have previously been ill. The pathogens could also pose a risk to healthy MRE carriers if they undergo surgery. The MRE can penetrate the surgical wound and cause an infection.