Antibiotic resistance challenged by new drug-delivery method using DNA nanopyramids

As scientists around the world confront the growing problem of antibiotic resistance, they may have a new weapon against the pathogens: tiny DNA pyramids that have the ability to flag bacteria and kill more than medicine alone.

A new study published in the "ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces" journal found that small engineered DNA pyramids-known as nanopyramids-packaged with the drug actinomycin D (AMD) killed 65 percent of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and 48 percent of Escherichia coli in tests, compared to 42 percent and 14 percent, respectively, with AMD alone, Science Daily reports.

The authors of the study said some infectious bacteria can lie latent and undetectable in the human body or in places difficult for antiobiotics to penetrate. Engineered nanomedicine, however, may offer an alternative treatment to deliver drugs directly into bacterial cells without causing toxic harm.

According to the World Health Organization, many bacteria that cause common infections such as urinary tract infections, pneumonia and sepsis are resistant to traditional antibiotics used to treat the bacteria, often leading to more serious complications and conditions.