Pharmaceutical International News - June 2012
E.coli Treatment Drug Study Breakthrough
Posted by Paul Fiddian - Pharmaceutical International's Lead Reporter on 19/06/2012 - 06:40:00
UK-based scientists have taken a potential step forward in the fight against E.coli, which is becoming harder and harder to treat as it gets more drug-resistant.
Escherichia coli infections now cause more hospitalisations than C.difficile and MRSA combined and, as they evolve and become stronger, drug developers are struggling to keep up.
Now, a team at the University of Nottingham has gained new insight into this superbug from which new and more effective E.coli treatment drugs could be developed.
E.coli Treatment Study
Their E.coli treatment study - now published by the Journal of Biological Chemistry - highlights how bacteria draw on so-called bacteriocins to access and kill bacterial cells. They propose that one of these bacteriocins could be used alongside a cell protein to produce a tool that can cause bacterial cells to self-destruct, in effect.
"Bacteriocins are receiving a lot of interest currently for their potential use in probiotics, cancer therapies, food security and new antimicrobial techniques", University of Nottingham representative Doctor Christopher Penfold explained, in a statement. "As current antibiotic treatments to fight superbugs are increasingly proving ineffective, it could be that harnessing the toxic power of bugs to fight rival bugs is going to be the way forward."
New E.coli Drugs
It's envisaged that this team's work could form the basis of advanced new E.coli drugs but, in the near future, further details of it are set to be presented at an upcoming bacteria-based conference, being held in the University of Nottingham's grounds next month.
"Our research has specifically provided structural evidence that colicin A in E.coli binds to a novel binding site of the protein (TolA) which is present naturally and crucial to the health of a bacterial cell", Penfold added.
"This is significant because it could lead to potential antimicrobial therapies through the design of small novel synthetic compounds that could ultimately block the natural functions of TolA leading to cell death and the eradication of the infection."
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