Antibiotic promise in superbug war

June 22, 2018, Flinders University
Dr Ramiz Boulos. Credit: Flinders University

An entirely new class of antibiotics has been shown to be effective against 100 different samples of Clostridium difficile, often the cause of drug-resistant infections picked up by patients while in hospital.

The new antibiotic developed in Australia, called Ramizol, was shown to be effective even against C. difficile which has developed resistant to other currently-available .

A scientific paper published in the journal Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease (Elsevier), has shown Ramizol, a first-in-class stilbene-based investigational antibiotic for the treatment of Clostridium difficile (CDI), is effective against 100 clinical isolates of C. difficile.

The paper, entitled "Comparison of the in vitro antibacterial activity of Ramizol, fidaxomicin, vancomycin and metronidazole against 100 clinical isolates of Clostridium difficile by broth microdilution," has shown resistance emergence against vancomycin and metronidazole.

The results have shown that vancomycin-resistant isolates are more than 250 times less susceptible (MIC > 8 μg/mL) to fidaxomicin compared to fidaxomin-sensitive strains (MIC90 = 0.03 μg/mL).

The research, which was undertaken jointly by Boulos & Cooper Pharmaceuticals, US-based Micromyx LLC and Flinders University, has shown there is no apparent impact of ribotype, toxin-production, or resistance to fidaxomicin, vancomycin or metronidazole on the activity of Ramizol.

Credit: Flinders University

CEO and founder of Boulos & Cooper Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Ramiz Boulos, says: "C. difficile strains showing resistance to both vancomycin and fidaxomicin is an unexpected finding, given these two antibiotics have different mechanisms of action."

"The emergence of resistance against the only three antibiotics currently used for treating CDI is alarming, highlighting the need for novel, safe and effective antibiotics," he says.

"We believe Ramizol has the potential to be the standard of care for treating CDI and has the potential to be a blockbuster drug," says Dr. Boulos, an adjunct lecturer at the College of Science and Engineering at Flinders University.

Dr. Boulos, who became an SA Tall Poppy of science in 2014 while working on his patented antimicrobials and other projects at the Flinders University Institute of NanoScale Science and Technology in 2013-2014, is now based in Perth where he obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Western Australia in 2011.

Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health Professor Ross McKinnon and College of Science and Engineering Professor Colin Raston are advisers of Boulos & Cooper Pharmaceuticals.

In the US alone, Dr. Boulos says at least 250,000 people per year are affected by CDI, gonorrhoea and some Gram-negative bacteria every year. With few treatment options and rising antibiotic resistance for these three bacteria, the US Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified them as "urgent-level" – its highest category of threat level – declaring each of them "an immediate that requires urgent and aggressive attention."

Explore further: New compound shown to be as effective as FDA-approved drugs against life-threatening infections

More information: Cindy Wolfe et al. Comparison of the in vitro antibacterial activity of Ramizol, fidaxomicin, vancomycin and metronidazole against 100 clinical isolates of Clostridium difficile by broth microdilution, Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2018.06.002

Related Stories

New compound shown to be as effective as FDA-approved drugs against life-threatening infections

June 15, 2018
Purdue University researchers have identified  a new compound that in preliminary testing has shown itself to be as effective as antibiotics approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat life-threatening infections ...

Metabolite therapy proves effective in treating C. difficile in mice

March 20, 2018
A team of UCLA researchers found that a metabolite therapy was effective in mice for treating a serious infection of the colon known as Clostridium difficile infection, or C. difficile.

Supercharged antibiotics could turn tide against superbugs

January 5, 2018
An old drug supercharged by University of Queensland researchers has emerged as a new antibiotic that could destroy some of the world's most dangerous superbugs.

Can probiotics reduce the severity of C. difficile infections?

August 7, 2014
Probiotics have shown promise for treating patients with recurrent Clostridium difficile infections. However, their safety and quality control requires further study – especially in immunocompromised patients, concludes ...

Researchers define target and mechanism of antibacterial drug fidaxomicin (Dificid)

March 29, 2018
A team of Rutgers University and international scientists has determined the molecular target and mechanism of the antibacterial drug fidaxomicin (trade name Dificid).

Recommended for you

Researchers a step closer to understanding how deadly bird flu virus takes hold in humans

November 19, 2018
New research has taken a step towards understanding how highly pathogenic influenza viruses such as deadly bird flu infect humans.

Infants born to obese mothers risk developing liver disease, obesity

November 16, 2018
Infant gut microbes altered by their mother's obesity can cause inflammation and other major changes within the baby, increasing the risk of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease later in life, according to researchers ...

New study shows NKT cell subsets play a large role in the advancement of NAFLD

November 16, 2018
Since 2015 it has been known that the gut microbiota could have a direct impact on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which affects up to 12% of adults and is a leading cause of chronic liver disease. In the November ...

Antibiotic prescribing influenced by team dynamics within hospitals

November 15, 2018
Antibiotic prescribing by doctors is influenced by team dynamics and cultures within hospitals.

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

November 14, 2018
New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...

New research aims to help improve uptake of hepatitis C testing

November 14, 2018
New research published in Scientific Reports shows persisting fears about HIV infection may impact testing uptake for the hepatitis C Virus (HCV).

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.