SEP 04, 2018 10:17 PM PDT

'Fosfomycin' Antibiotic Treatment to Combat Listeria Infections

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Credit: Center for Disease and Control (CDC)

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria that were long thought to be untreatable may now be treated with a powerful antibiotic according to a recent study published in PLOS genetics. One particular antibiotic-resistant bacteria is the food-posing bug, Listeria. This particular bacterium was shown to be responsive to an antibiotic despite carrying genes that are highly resistant, the antibiotic is called ‘fosfomycin’.

The research has shown that the antibiotic, fosfomycin, should be the treatment for life-threatening complications caused by Listeria infections. Even though early lab tests proved that fosfomycin failed to eradicate Listeria since the bacterium carried a gene that enabled it to break down the drug. However, further research found that the drug held high efficacy in eradicating Listeria in infected cells in the laboratory setting and in mice.

According to the research done at the University of Edinburgh, the genes that are only activated when the bacterium infected the body will wipe out the symptoms of the drug-destroying gene. The research suggests that ‘fosfomycin’ can prove to be a useful treatment for life-threatening Listeria cases despite these bacterium testing resistant during laboratory tests.

Named listeriosis, Listeria infections are the most lethal food-borne disease known and are often fatal. It is a result by ingesting contaminated foods like soft cheeses, smoked salmon, pates, meats, and salads. The infection is especially dangerous for those with poor immune systems, such as older individuals and newborns. The infection can also lead to miscarriage. The listeria bacteria reproduce within the cells of the human body and are known to affect the brain, which only certain therapeutics are able to target. Therefore, due to the limit of these therapeutics ‘fosfomycin’ may prove highly beneficial. Professor Jose Vazquez-Boland, who led the research at the University of Edinburgh's Division of Infection Medicine, said: "Our study focused on Listeria, but this important discovery may be relevant for other species of bacteria too. It is encouraging that we may be able to repurpose existing drugs in the race against antibiotic resistance."

Watch this video below to learn more about the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes:

Source: University of Edinburgh, PLOS Genetics

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
SEP 20, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
Revealing the Structure of Hallucinogens Bound to Their Receptor
SEP 20, 2020
Revealing the Structure of Hallucinogens Bound to Their Receptor
Recent studies have demonstrated that hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline have therapeutic potentia ...
SEP 21, 2020
Microbiology
A Fast, Cheap Way to See if Two Antibiotics Work Together
SEP 21, 2020
A Fast, Cheap Way to See if Two Antibiotics Work Together
When a person has a bacterial infection, doctors can prescribe antibiotics. Some antibiotics combos can work better than ...
SEP 10, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Improving Chemotherapeutic Delivery
SEP 10, 2020
Improving Chemotherapeutic Delivery
One particular form of stubborn cancer, known as hepatocellular carcinoma, has been challenging to treat and as a result ...
OCT 01, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
HPV Vaccine Protects Against Cervical Cancer, Large Study Finds
OCT 01, 2020
HPV Vaccine Protects Against Cervical Cancer, Large Study Finds
It has been known for some time that the HPV vaccine protects against human papillomavirus infection, genital warts, and ...
NOV 05, 2020
Immunology
Awakening Ancient DNA to Kill Cancer
NOV 05, 2020
Awakening Ancient DNA to Kill Cancer
In a recent study published in Nature, scientists from the University of Toronto described the discovery of ancient DNA ...
NOV 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Cat Parasite Gives Clues on New Drug Targets for Schizophrenia
NOV 20, 2020
Cat Parasite Gives Clues on New Drug Targets for Schizophrenia
Researchers from the UK and France have discussed a mechanism of action behind the infamous Toxoplasma gondii  ...
Loading Comments...