Mexican scientists create skin patch for diabetic foot infections

MEXICO CITY, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Mexican scientists created a skin patch targeting diabetic foot infections caused by antibiotic-resistant germs, National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) of the Central American country announced Thursday.

The skin patch uses a bioactive agent called "Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus" to remove microorganisms in diabetic foot infections, Christian Mariel Saenz Santos, a biotechnology expert at the institute said.

The agent could eliminate antibiotic-resistant microorganisms such as "pseudomonas aeruginosa," of which patients often become infected in hospitals.

The patch, now in experimental stage, represents a feasible alternative to other treatments. The next step would be applying for a clinical trial to assess its effect on real patients, Saenz said.

About 100,000 people in Mexico underwent amputations because of diabetes, the second leading cause of death in the country, according to figures provided by health institutions on the "Alliance for the Diabetic Foot" forum.

Saenz admitted that the presumable effect of the patch varies with the severity of infections. When infections become worse and gangrene appear, it would be unlikely to work.

Health specialists can either use the patch only or combine it with antibiotics on different patients, he added.

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