New drug fights multidrug-resistant bacteria

Danish researchers recently announced that they have developed a new drug that can be used to fight drug-resistant bacteria.

The scientists announced that they have received a patent for the drug, which they say can make multidrug-resistant bacteria susceptible to antibiotics again. They believe the drug can be used to cure diseases such as multidrug-resistant staphylococcus, tuberculosis and salmonella typhus, according to

If the drug works as the researchers claim, patients could be cured with standard antibiotics that the diseases was previously resistant to.

The key to the discovery of the new drug was found in a treatment commonly used for the mental disorder schizophrenia.

"One has long known that psychoactive drugs have an antibiotic effect," Oliver Hendricks, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Southern Denmark and a researcher on the project, said, reports. "We have isolated that particular effect from the rest of the (psychoactive) drug, and the result is a product that can make resistant bacteria susceptible (to drugs) again.”

Many psychoactive drugs are known to have severe side effects, but Hendricks says the purification process he and his team used removes much of the danger.

"We have removed that part of the drug which affected the brain. By doing that we have removed 80 to 85 percent of side effects," Hendricks said, reports.

The new drug, currently called JEK47, works by preventing the resistant bacteria from flushing the antibiotics out of their cells through their outer cell membranes. Once stuck inside, the antibiotics can function as they are meant to.

The researchers said the drug has been approved for combination therapy in Europe and could be on sale within the next two years.