New hope against antibiotic resistance
Part of the problem with treating with antibiotics is ensuring that the drug makes it to where it needs to act. The compounds will need to travel from the site of administration through the body to the site of infection, and finding the microbe can be a challenge. Brittany Reichelt (11 AM Micro) brings us another in a series of options in the war against antibiotic resistance, which can offer us a possible answer tothis problem.
This is a summary from Science Daily “Possible alternative to antibiotics.” Antibiotic resistance is a real concern: what if all the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, what if I get an infection with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics? Antibiotic resistance grows every time we use an antibiotic, it has been growing for 90 years since Penicillin was first used. In society today, bacteria are now becoming resistant to multiple antibiotics. This is causing great concern because infections from scrapes, surgeries, or “non-fatal” diseases, which are normally treated with antibiotics, will be causing deaths.
Eduard Babiychuk and Annette Draeger completed research at the University of Bern in Switzerland. These scientists developed a substance that could have the potential to offer a different strategy against bacterial infections. Antibiotics target the bacterial cell and kill it off. The substance developed does not directly target the bacteria. This substance was created by “engineering artificial nanoparticles made of lipids, liposomes that closely resemble the membrane of host cells.” The liposomes are sneaky; they lure the bacteria toxins in, not the bacteria body directly Bacteria without the toxins will not be able to fight against the host’s immune system. Therefore, the host will not be harmed because their immune system will easily get rid of the bacteria. The importance of this drug is that it will treat bacterial infections, but it is not an antibiotic and will not aid in the antibiotic resistance that is increasing among bacteria.
Normally liposomes are used clinically to deliver drugs and certain drugs to the body. Instead these scientists are using them as bait for the toxins on the bacteria, which are attracted to them. Researchers have studied these liposomes in mice that had fatal septicemia. The results showed that the mice survived with no need for any other antibiotics. This research offers great hope against antibiotic resistance, but needs to be studied in humans first.
This study was also published in the Journal Nature, which can be viewed at this link.