A revolutionary breakthrough in the field of medicine – a molecule has been developed that can have a reverse effect on the resistance to antibiotics in many strains of bacteria at the same time. Scientists have finally made significant progress in our fight against superbooks, and their results are promising.
Just last week, a woman is reported to have died from a superbug resistant to all possible antibiotics, and it is expected that these phenomena will increase in the coming months and years, if something is not done. So, it seems that the timing can not be better, since the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics spreads like a forest fire, and we gradually lose control of super-bunks.
You know that the situation worsens when even public health officials who are known to “remain calm and support” attitudes to possible health threats are beginning to raise tensions. In 2014, the report predicted that superbuki would kill 300 million people by 2050, and the UN declared the issue “a fundamental threat.”
Why does this become such a problem? Until now, we have coped easily with bacterial infections, such as pneumonia, E. coli and gonorrhea, with antibiotics. But now these bacteria are rapidly developing the ability to survive our antibiotics. Therefore, if we do not find a better solution in the foreseeable future, we can very soon begin to die from the simplest bacterial infections.
Lead researcher Bruce Geller from the University of Oregon said:
“We have lost the ability to use many of our major antibiotics. Now they are all stable. This made us try to develop new drugs to stay one step ahead of the bacteria, but the more we look, the more we find nothing new. So it left us with a modification of existing antibiotics, but as soon as you make chemical changes, the mistakes mutate, and now they are resistant to a new chemically modified antibiotic. ”
How do bacteria spread antibiotic resistance? One of the ways is a gene that produces an enzyme known as the New Delhi Metal-beta-Lactamase – NDM-1, which is cause for concern, because this enzyme makes bacteria resistant to so-called “last resort” drugs, Penicillin class , Called carbapenems. As a result of NDM-1, our last resort will soon be considered ineffective.
“The importance of NDM-1 lies in the fact that it destroys carbapenems, so doctors had to pull out an antibiotic, colistin, which has not been used for decades, because it is toxic to the kidneys,” Geller said.
“This is literally the last antibiotic that can be used in the NDM-1-expressing organism, and now we have bacteria that are completely resistant to all known antibiotics.”
Striving to deal with this unpleasant enzyme, Heller and his team resorted to creating a molecule aimed specifically at NDM-1, completely destroying it. In addition, this newly created molecule can withstand the resistance to antibiotics in a number of different strains of bacteria. This means that we will finally be able to use antibiotics that have proved useless.
The molecule is a type of PPMO that denotes a phosphoiodiomidate-morpholine oligomer conjugated to a peptide, and it disconnects NDM-1.
In the previous experiment, scientists tried to use natural PPMOs against super-books, and they were effective, but only on one particular strain of bacteria. A new molecule is better, because it can be used with a variety of different strains.
“We are focused on the resistance mechanism, which is shared by a whole bunch of pathogens. This is the same gene for different types of bacteria, so you have only one PPMO that is effective for everyone that is different from other PPMOs specific to the genus. ”
To test their molecule, they placed three different strains of NDM-1 bacteria in a petri dish, which were also resistive to carbapenems. Then they used a new molecule together with a type of carbapenem called meropenem, which led to a rapid recovery of the ability of antibiotics to kill bacteria.
After the success of the in vitro experiment, they decided to test it in vivo. They injected a combination of new PPMO and meropenem in mice infected with E. coli resistant antibiotics. The experiment showed that the combination can effectively cure the infection, as well as increase the rate of survival in mice.
What does this mean for us? Well, in the future, doctors will be able to administer PPMO along with existing antibiotics to eliminate their antibiotic resistance.
“PPMO can restore susceptibility to antibiotics that have already been approved, so we can get approved PPMO, and then come back and use these antibiotics that have become useless,” Geller said.
Nevertheless, we are still far from starting treatment in humans, at first the clinical trial must prove that it is effective for a person who, according to the team, will be done in the next three years. But, the team adds that these results are very promising and definitely the best news about the superbukes that we heard at the time.
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