WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Studies explore drug-resistant antibiotics

Studies to revive antibiotics against infections | Courtesy of angelfire.com
Researchers are conducting studies to further understand and develop antibiotics to fight against drug-resistant illnesses.

Antibiotics are the main treatment for bacterial infections, and they have been credited with the close elimination of infectious illnesses like tuberculosis in developed nations. Unfortunately, because antibiotics have been overused, there has been a significant rise in drug-resistant bacteria.

"It was known for a while that some bactericidal antibiotics put bacterial respiration into overdrive, which, by producing too many oxygen radicals, becomes toxic to the pathogens,” Michael Lobritz, the study's first author who is a Wyss Institute Clinical Fellow, an instructor at Harvard Medical School, and an infectious disease physician at the Massachusetts General Hospital, said. “We wanted to zero in on these bacterial responses and decided to systematically investigate respiration levels in bacteria treated with a larger spectrum of bacteriacidal and bacteriostatic antibiotics."

This bacteria outmaneuvers antibiotics with various mechanisms. These drug-resistant illnesses make the infections nearly untreatable in modern hospitals as well as underdeveloped nations.

"Given the alarming increase in infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria, the team's findings provide an entirely new strategy for development of urgently needed therapeutics," Wyss Institute Founding Director Donald Ingber said.

Organizations in this story

Harvard Medical School 25 Shattuck St Boston, MA 02115

Get notified the next time we write about Harvard Medical School!