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 enjoys writing on various topics 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
NOV 15, 2018
Drug Discovery
NOV 15, 2018
Treating Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
A common condition of the nervous system, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is the overwhelming urge to move the legs. Usually unpleasant symptoms, many RLS pati...
DEC 27, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
DEC 27, 2018
Parents Turning to Medical Marijuana to Treat Children's Autism
WHEC News in Rochester, New York, is reporting that more adults are turning to medical marijuana to treat their child's autism. The parents claim that...
JAN 14, 2019
Drug Discovery
JAN 14, 2019
Vitamin D Proved Non-Beneficial for Individuals Aged 70 and Over
According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers at Newcastle University have confirmed that older individuals, over the age...
JAN 20, 2019
Drug Discovery
JAN 20, 2019
Combination Therapeutic Effective for Leishmaniasis and HIV Patients
In a study published in PLOS Neglected Diseases, a special combination therapy has been proven for efficacy in cases of coinfection with Visceral leishmani...
FEB 01, 2019
Drug Discovery
FEB 01, 2019
Statin Therapy Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Complications Regardless of Age
A meta-analysis study, from randomized clinical trials, found that regardless of age, statin therapy is effective in decreasing the risk of developing vasc...
FEB 04, 2019
Microbiology
FEB 04, 2019
Potential New Antibiotic is Made by an Insect-linked Microbe
Like many other organisms, bacteria have to compete for resources and have developed a wide array of strategies to use, including antibiotics....
Loading Comments...