Inhalable nitric oxide shown safe as potential anti-microbial treatment

July 4, 2012

Results from a clinical study by a UBC-Vancouver Coastal Health research team have increased hope for a new, effective and inexpensive anti-microbial treatment using inhalable nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is produced naturally by the body’s immune system and is a potent anti-microbial agent against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, but the safety of nitric oxide given to humans at microbe killing concentrations has not been studied until now.

In the new study, published in this month’s edition of the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, healthy adult volunteers show no adverse effects associated with therapeutic antimicrobial concentrations of nitric oxide. The study was conducted at UBC Hospital, where healthy volunteers were recruited and inhaled gas was administrated over a period of one week.

“In retrospect, it’s not surprising to find that a molecule naturally produced in our own body to fight invading pathogens is useful as an antimicrobial drug,” says lead author Prof. Chris Miller, assistant professor in UBC’s Division of Respiratory Medicine and a member of the Immunity and Infection Research Centre at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. “This study confirms the safety aspect of an efficacious mode of delivery.”

This Phase I safety study was funded by the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation, and leads the way to efficacy studies targeting the spread of resistant pulmonary infections – focusing first on Cystic Fibrosis and Tuberculosis,  a deadly pulmonary infection  that kill millions of people every year. The study results were licensed by the UBC Industry Liaison Office to AIT, an Israeli company.

Explore further: Breakthrough in the study of Autoimmune Disease

Related Stories

Breakthrough in the study of Autoimmune Disease

June 3, 2011

Diseases of the immune system such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis could be treated by a gas produced naturally by the body, scientists at the University have found.

Recommended for you

Zika virus infection alters human and viral RNA

October 20, 2016

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that Zika virus infection leads to modifications of both viral and human genetic material. These modifications—chemical tags known as ...

Food-poisoning bacteria may be behind Crohn's disease

October 19, 2016

People who retain a particular bacterium in their gut after a bout of food poisoning may be at an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease later in life, according to a new study led by researchers at McMaster University.

Neurodevelopmental model of Zika may provide rapid answers

October 19, 2016

A newly published study from researchers working in collaboration with the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia demonstrates fetal death and brain damage in early chick embryos similar to microcephaly—a ...

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

October 17, 2016

In a study that could one day help eliminate the tragic birth defects caused by Zika virus, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have elucidated how the virus attacks the brains of newborns, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.