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Scientists at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have come up with a new approach of revitalising the efficacy of existing antibiotics to counter the rising menace of multidrug-resistant bacteria. They are using obsolete antibiotics in combination with antibiotic adjuvants -- ingredients that can weakly perturb bacterial membrane.
The experts claimed that this novel strategy can combat the most critical group of bacteria and bring back the existing antibiotics into use for treating complicated infections.
JNCASR is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology, Govt. of India, situated in Jakkur, Bangalore.
Antimicrobial resistance is emerging as one of the biggest health problems worldwide, resulting in an increasing number of complicated infections that are untreatable. For example, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacteriaceae, are all resistant to carbapenems. This has triggered the use of combinations of various antibiotics to treat such complicated infections. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also demarcated these three bacteria as the topmost priority critical pathogens.
Hence, the need to develop novel therapeutic strategies to combat these multidrug-resistant pathogens.
Ms. Geetika Dhanda and Prof. Jayanta Haldar at JNCASR incorporated cyclic hydrophobic moieties (portion of a molecule) in a triamine-containing compound. The resulting adjuvants was able to weakly perturb the membrane of bacteria and counter membrane-associated resistance elements like permeability barrier and expulsion of antibiotics by efflux pumps.
The then used these adjuvants in combination with existing antibiotics like fusidic acid, minocycline, and rifampicin. The combination inactivated multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria, including the above mentioned three critical pathogens.
The study results have been published in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases.
Talking about the benefits of using non-active and non-toxic adjuvants, the study authors pointed out that it will put less pressure on the bacteria to develop resistance to the drug while weak membrane perturbation would result in less toxicity.
However, they stressed that their work requires proper validation in in-vivo model systems, followed by preclinical studies.
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