Pharmaceutical International News - September 2010
Antibiotics Fight Drug Resistance with Bacteria
Posted by Pharmaceutical International's Senior Correspondent on 15/09/2010 - 15:05:00
Israel and US-based scientists have developed new-age antibiotics that have the potential to take on drug-resistant conditions. They feature elements of the bacteria linked to the conditions themselves to combat bacteria forms that standard drugs are ineffective against.
Newly published data has highlighted the number of conditions contracted by people each year that antibiotics are unable to treat. As per the Center for Disease Control, superbugs – on which antibiotics have a very limited or no ultimate effect – kill 90,000 patients a year in the United States alone. In general terms, these superbugs include the likes of MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and NDM-1, which was the subject of a Pharma International News Item in August 2010.
While patients staying in hospital are especially prone to contract untreatable conditions – no one in society can be considered entirely immune.
Drug Resistant Bacteria
As a result of this situation, many medical researchers are involved in efforts to overcome drug resistant bacteria and develop antibiotics capable of taking on superbugs. In the case of one, the bacteria itself is being used as a source of the antibiotics’ content.
“We took the mechanism of bacterial resistance and used this mechanism itself to generate antibiotics”, Doctor Fridman said of the pioneering work being carried out at the Department of Chemistry at Israel’s Tel Aviv University.
“It's thanks to these bacteria that we can develop a better medication.”
This drug development work is been undertaken in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova, and details of it feature in the ChemBioChem publication.
As per Doctor Fridman, some bacteria feature enzymes which act to make them resistant to antibiotics by changing the drugs’ chemical make-up.
The removal of these enzymes and the incorporation of them into the structure of the antibiotics has resulted in a new type of drug able to combat drug-resistant bacteria forms.
The new drugs essentially ensure the antibiotic’s integrity remains untarnished, while simultaneously blocking resistance to bacteria.
Although still at developmental stage, these new antibiotics are set to offer a huge progression over contemporary drug treatments, Doctor Fridman suggests. Ultimately, they could offer patients a solution where, previously, no drug could easily treat them, if at all.
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