FEB 20, 2020 10:03 PM PST

Antibiotics for Superbug Infections?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Antibiotics for superbug infections? A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that a combination of compounds can target one of the most serious and drug resistance pathogen-- Pseudomonas aeruginosa—known to cause pulmonary infections in humans. The compounds are acidified nitrite and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid that are known as AB569.

"AB569 kills these pathogenic bacteria by targeting their DNA, RNA and protein biosynthesis as well as energy and iron metabolism at concentrations that do not harm human cells," explains Daniel Hassett, a professor in the UC Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology. "These were tested in laboratory mice with humanized cells. Our data implicate that AB569 is a safe and effective means that could be applied to eradicate these superbugs."

Combating superbug infections resistant to antibiotics is critical as difficult pathogens sicken more than 2.8 million people and lead to more than 35,000 deaths in the United States annually.

What causes antibiotic resistance?

"These superbugs have an ingenious mechanism of being able to resist traditional antibiotic therapies by a vast number of acquired strategies," explains Daniel Hassett, a professor in the UC Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology. "Antibiotics affect specific processes in the bacteria, but not all of them. AB569 affects multiple processes at once leaving the exposed bacteria simply overwhelmed."

Researchers applied Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the lungs of laboratory mice for five days to mimic chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in humans.  The patented AB569 in March 2018 in the United States as a potential treatment for many antibiotic-resistant organisms that cause pulmonary infections in patients with cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

"Multidrug resistance, a trait of superbug bacteria, is one of the greatest threats to global public health," says Hassett. "It is usually caused by excessive drug usage or prescription, inappropriate and often compliance-related use of antimicrobials, overuse in the chicken, beef and pork industries and/or substandard pharmaceuticals."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic resistance is considered to be among the most serious threats to human health because the pathogens rapidly evolve new means to evade drug therapy leaving those who are susceptible at risk.

"Superbugs typically are found in areas of the world where there is a high population density, thereby facilitating rapid spread of such organisms. People who have traveled to areas of the world with high rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria such as South Asia and the Middle East are more likely to carry superbugs," said Hassett. "This is why patients are often quarantined if they test positive for such organisms while epidemiologists are on their toes tracking a pathogen's spread."

Source: Science Daily

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
JUN 18, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
FDA Cancels Emergency Approval for Hydroxychloroquine
JUN 18, 2020
FDA Cancels Emergency Approval for Hydroxychloroquine
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to cancel emergency use authorization for Hydroxychloroquine and C ...
JUN 25, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Three New Molecular Targets for Epilepsy
JUN 25, 2020
Three New Molecular Targets for Epilepsy
A study lead by scientists at FutureNeuro discovered three new drugs hold the potential for targeting epilepsy. These dr ...
JUL 02, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
What is the Difference Between CBD and CBG?
JUL 02, 2020
What is the Difference Between CBD and CBG?
Like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) is a cannabinoid. Both compounds are found in cannabis plants. Both are also ...
AUG 04, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Erectile Dysfunction Drug Cures Critical COVID-19 Patients
AUG 04, 2020
Erectile Dysfunction Drug Cures Critical COVID-19 Patients
Critically ill patients who received COVID-19 drug candidate aviptadil (RLF-100) were able to make a rapid recovery from ...
AUG 05, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
New Drug Prevents Inherited Alzheimer's in Mice
AUG 05, 2020
New Drug Prevents Inherited Alzheimer's in Mice
Researchers at the Salk Institute have developed a new drug candidate that has successfully prevented Alzheimer's-re ...
AUG 10, 2020
Cardiology
Can Statins be Used to Treat Strokes?
AUG 10, 2020
Can Statins be Used to Treat Strokes?
When a blood clot forms in an artery that supplies the brain with oxygen, obstructing it, a stroke can occur. Strokes ca ...
Loading Comments...