FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

New substance combats multi-resistant bacteria

 

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the University of British Columbia recently published findings in Chemistry & Biology on a treatment that quickly and effectively kills multi-resistant bacteria.

The collaboration developed Host Defence Peptidomimetic 4, which makes the bacteria's protective barrier permeable and combines with its DNA. The process kills the bacteria.

"We have also shown that the substance can activate the human body's own immune cells, strengthening its defense against bacteria during infection," Jahnsen said.

Antibiotics have cured bacterial infections since their development during World War II. In recent years, bacterial resistance has decreased the capabilities of antibiotics. Medication-resistant bacteria are found in many parts of the world.

"We have succeeded in preparing and characterizing a very stable substance that kills multi-resistant bacteria extremely quickly and effectively," Rasmus Jahnsen, a researcher at the University of Copenhagen, said. "The most interesting aspect is that the bacteria are attacked using a multifunctional mechanism that drastically reduces the risk of resistance development compared with traditional antibiotics."

Test results show the medication substance is highly attractive for the development of new antibiotics.

"Only a tiny fraction of the pharmaceutical research is devoted to development of new antibiotics - partly because research into cancer and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are seen as better long-term investments," Jahnsen said. "This leaves us in the extremely unfortunate situation where infectious diseases once again pose extremely serious threats to human health as the efficacy of medical drugs continues to be undermined by bacterial resistance. It is therefore important to conduct more research into new antibiotics."