What is it about?

In 2019, the first blood purification system to reduce bacteria from blood without antibiotics was approved in the European Union (ExThera Medical, Martinez, CA, USA). In this study, we analysed the binding capacity of these filters for Staphylococcus aureus, one of the most common and dangerous pathogens in hospitals. Our data show that S. aureus binds well to the filter and that the bacterial load in human blood plasma can be significantly reduced within four hours of treatment without antibiotics.

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Why is it important?

The treatment of bacterial infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria is one of the greatest challenges facing medicine today, and the development of new antibiotics is difficult. Bloodstream infections can be caused by a variety of pathogens. Many of these are multi-resistant, such as S. aureus. Our results suggest that an extracorporeal blood purification system based on heparin-coated beads - the Seraph® 100 Microbind® Affinity Filter - efficiently removes S. aureus from human plasma, regardless of its surface protein composition, making it an attractive alternative for reducing S. aureus in patients’ blood without antibiotics. However, these data also provide evidence that there are components in blood plasma that interfere with S. aureus binding to the beads and may be one reason for thepatient variability observed in early clinical trials of the filter system. In order to better assess the efficacy of the treatment in the future, a systematic characterisation of these compounds is essential and should be intensified.


This has been a very fruitful collaboration between scientists and clinicians. With multidrug-resistant infections on the rise, it is good to know that we have treatment options other than antibiotics.

Susanne Engelmann

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Staphylococcus aureus binding to Seraph® 100 Microbind® Affinity Filter: Effects of surface protein expression and treatment duration, PLoS ONE, March 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0283304.
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