JAN 08, 2018 08:03 AM PST

Treatment Strategies for Multidrug-resistant Chronic Infections

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Cystic-fibrosis (CF) patients have enough problems, by they are also often plagued by antibiotic-resistant infections with Pseudomonas bacteria. These infections are apparently susceptible to certain classes of antibiotics. A new study reported in Cell by researchers at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability of the Technical University of Denmark suggested that this work may help doctors optimize the treatment of chronic infections for individual patients.

Research paves the way for new rational treatment strategies of multidrug-resistant chronic infections.  / Credit: Christian Als/ The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark

"Our discovery of widespread antibiotic sensitivities in the multidrug-resistant pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa opens up the opportunity to limit the development of antibiotic resistance and perhaps even revert it. This could be important for the treatment of several chronic infections including the life-long lung infections of patients with cystic fibrosis," noted Morten Sommer, Professor and Scientific Director at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability.

The scientists discovered that some vulnerabilities to antibiotics are maintained in multidrug-resistant pathogens across clinical isolates obtained over many years at the Cystic fibrosis clinic in Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. The analysis revealed the mutations that caused these sensitivities, as well.

"Targeting vulnerabilities of phenotypic states related to specific mutations could potentially have a huge impact because it makes it possible to make a more personalized treatment strategy for each patient,” explained Lejla Imamovic, Senior Researcher at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability.

"Results indicate that for some antibiotics, exposure and subsequent resistance evolution leads to convergence toward specific phenotypes states. Thus, collateral sensitivity may be particularly useful for optimizing treatments of chronic infections since their nature and severity warrants and requires tailored treatment strategies," said Lejla Imamovic.

Scientific knowledge is one thing, but usefulness in the clinic is another. Currently, it is thought that pathogens evolve, becoming increasingly resistant in response to antibiotic treatment, causing a chronic infection. However, widespread collateral sensitivity interactions suggest that chronically infectious bacteria have fluctuating resistance profiles in response to different drugs, according to Sommer.

"Our research supports the notion that treatment of chronically infected patients could be significantly improved based on specific diagnostic markers that are associated with a collateral sensitivity to specific drugs," he said. Now, the findings have to be applied to the patient.

"Actually, some of our findings relate to drugs that are already used clinically and it is possible that benefits can be gained simply by making slight changes to the empirical treatment prescribed by physicians already now. Yet, larger controlled clinical trials will also be important in order to fully exploit these findings in the clinic," noted Morten Sommer.

Learn more about Pseudomonas infections in CF from this video.
 


Soucres: AAAS/Eurekalert! Via Technical University of Denmark, Cell

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
AUG 04, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
AUG 04, 2018
Bioengineered Lung Successfully Grown and Transplanted
The complexity of human organs has made them difficult to engineer, but real progress is being made....
AUG 05, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
AUG 05, 2018
Newly ID'ed Lung Cell Changes Our Understanding of Disease
This rare type of cell seems to play a major role in cystic fibrosis....
SEP 08, 2018
Videos
SEP 08, 2018
How Stem Cells can Help us Model, Treat and Repair Eye Disorders
Researchers now have straightforward ways to generate stem cells, which have tremendous therapeutic potential, from specialized adult cells....
SEP 24, 2018
Cell & Molecular Biology
SEP 24, 2018
Any Fracture can Lead to Bone Density Losses Everywhere
Broken bones cause a loss in bone density at the break. But new research has shown that it's not only the broken bone that loses integrity....
OCT 02, 2018
Drug Discovery
OCT 02, 2018
Mycobacterial Lung Disease, FDA Approves New Drug
New drug seeking to treat antibiotic-resistant lung disease has just been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug is called ‘Arik...
OCT 13, 2018
Genetics & Genomics
OCT 13, 2018
A Better Way to Analyze Epigenetic Tags
This improved technology does not harm the DNA under analysis....
Loading Comments...