'Resuscitating' antibiotics to overcome drug resistance

March 28, 2012, Society for General Microbiology

Combining common antibiotics with additional compounds could make previously resistant bacteria more susceptible to the same antibiotics. 'Resuscitation' of existing antibiotics has the potential to make infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria easier to control, reducing antibiotic usage and levels of antimicrobial resistance, say scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring Conference in Dublin this week.

Researchers from University College Dublin (UCD) studied a variety of bacteria that are frequently associated with hospital-acquired infections, including , Klebsiella, Enterobacter and . Bacterial samples were collected from and from these, that showed resistance to a commonly prescribed antibiotic – ciprofloxacin - were selected for study.

The team tested ciprofloxacin in combination with one of five different 'adjuvant' compounds against these bacteria, to determine which combinations, if any, were more effective than treatment with ciprofloxacin alone. Results showed that all five adjuvant compounds increased the efficacy of ciprofloxacin; making it more active against the bacteria by up to six-fold. .

Dr Marta Martins, from the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science, who is leading the study explained why this adjuvant therapy approach is so important. "Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem that is threatening to make many infections impossible to treat. There are very few new antibacterial drugs coming onto the market so it is vital that we find ways to extend the use of existing as much as possible," she said. "Adjuvant therapy essentially means that antibiotics that are currently ineffective can be 'resuscitated' to treat infections that previously would have been considered resistant."

The team believes that adjuvant therapy could revolutionize the way that antibiotics are used nowadays. "Hopefully this work will allow antibiotics to be incorporated into treatment regimes and administered in more effective ways," said Dr Martins. "As well as extending the lifespan of current antibiotics, this approach could ultimately reduce levels of antimicrobial resistance in hospitals as well as in the community, allowing hard-to-treat bacterial infections to be successfully controlled," she said.

Explore further: Honey can reverse antibiotic resistance

Related Stories

Honey can reverse antibiotic resistance

April 13, 2011
Manuka honey could be an efficient way to clear chronically infected wounds and could even help reverse bacterial resistance to antibiotics, according to research presented at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring ...

Resistant food bacteria strains now common: EU study

March 14, 2012
Bacteria that cause the main food-borne infections among people in the European Union commonly show resistance to widely-used antibiotics and antimicrobials, an EU report showed Wednesday.

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

0 comments

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.