Pain relievers the new superheroes against the fight of bacterial infection

Inhibition of bacterial DNA synthesis by NSAIDs

Inhibition of bacterial DNA synthesis by NSAIDs; image via Cell Press

One of the major issues that health care will be facing is the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics against infectious disease. The ability of microorganisms to become resistant to many different antibiotics is expensive, and leads to increased mortality to many infections that have previously been easily treatable. Sherrell Carter (11 AM Micro) found an article from the medical journal Chemistry and Biology that reports an “outside the box” type of idea; some common anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat aches and pains also have effects on microorganisms, and this might be exploited to treat infections due to those organisms. Here is Sherrell’s summary:

Amazing how certain commonly over the counter drugs that aid daily Americans in their struggles against aches, pains, fever, and inflammation are also believed to have the ability to eradicate bacteria and prevent infection. Innovative research at the University of Wollongong, in Australia  suggest  that these  drugs, better known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, act on bacteria in a way that is incorrigibly different from current antibiotics. This discovery could provide new developments for fighting drug-resistant infections and ‘superbugs that pose a threat on human health.

Scientist has discovered that some anti-inflammatory drugs used in human and veterinary medicine have weak antibiotic activity and that they prevent bacteria from copying their DNA, needed for replication.   Dr. Aaron Oakley of the University of Wollongong, in Australia analyzed three NSAIDs: bromofenac, carprofen, and vedaprofen. I’m flabbergasted to know that a class of meds that can be found in our medicine cabinet are among pharmaceutical residences like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, impairing the proper functioning of bacteria’s DNA.

I was bewildered by Dr. Oakley and his team ability to recognize that anti-inflammatory drugs can bind to and inhibit a specific protein in bacteria called the DNA clamp. Our common everyday over counter drugs have an amazing benefit to our immune system. It was noted in the study that DNA clamp, is an enzyme that synthesizes DNA molecules from their nucleotide building blocks across various bacterial species.

Subsequently, it’s amazing to feel excitingly ahead the race of bacterial infections and retired overused antibiotics. But as we race to our local pharmacy for over the counter assistance’s we may need to exercise a little patience’s before we can claim an instant cure. Nevertheless, carprofen, vedaprofen and bromfenac require additional testing before it can be prescribed precisely as an antibiotic.


About ycpmicro

My name is David Singleton, and I am an Associate Professor of Microbiology at York College of Pennsylvania. My main course is BIO230, a course taken by allied-health students at YCP. Views on this site are my own.

Posted on March 17, 2014, in Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Pain relievers the new superheroes against the fight of bacterial infection.

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