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
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 ...
OCT 06, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Cannabis Use May Reduce Cancer Risk by 10%
OCT 06, 2020
Cannabis Use May Reduce Cancer Risk by 10%
A recent meta-analysis of 34 studies found that cannabis use may decrease one’s risk of developing certain kinds o ...
OCT 12, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Researchers Solve Key Problem for Cancer Immunotherapy
OCT 12, 2020
Researchers Solve Key Problem for Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancer immunotherapies are becoming increasingly promising as a standard-of-care treatment. However, despite their promi ...
NOV 12, 2020
Immunology
The Enzyme That Keeps Viruses In Stealth Mode
NOV 12, 2020
The Enzyme That Keeps Viruses In Stealth Mode
Some viral infections just don’t go away. The hepatitis C virus, for instance, can result in life-long chronic inf ...
NOV 22, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Increased Deaths in Older Patients with COPD
NOV 22, 2020
Synthetic Cannabinoids Linked to Increased Deaths in Older Patients with COPD
Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have found that two synthetic cannabinoids available on prescri ...
NOV 25, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Improving Drug Dissolution
NOV 25, 2020
Improving Drug Dissolution
When you take your medicine, it travels through the bloodstream and releases its effects. When the drug dissolves too fa ...
Loading Comments...