24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
Fax: (361)578-5500

Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Alzheimer's Gene Linked to Severe COVID-19 RiskCoronavirus Cases Ticking Upwards in Nearly a Dozen U.S. StatesLockdown Got You Down? Experts Offer Tips to De-StressCould a Hormone Help Spur High Blood Pressure?Nursing Homes Are Ground Zero for COVID-19Getting Back to Work Safely After LockdownRemdesivir Will Not Be Enough to Curb COVID-19, Study FindsOutdoor Swimming Pools Not a COVID-19 Risk: ExpertStrokes Are Deadlier When They Hit COVID-19 PatientsAHA News: How to Accurately Measure Blood Pressure at HomeU.S. Earmarks $1.2 Billion for New Vaccine Deal as Coronavirus Deaths Near 95,000During the Pandemic, How Safe Is the Great American Summer Vacation?COVID-19 Damages Lungs Differently From the Flu: StudyMore Evidence Hydroxychloroquine Won't Help, May Harm COVID-19 PatientsYour Sleep Habits May Worsen Your AsthmaExtra Pounds Could Bring More Painful JointsCOVID Can Complicate Pregnancy, Especially If Mom Is ObeseWHO Predicts COVID-19 Will Take Heavy Toll in AfricaCombining Remdesivir With Other Meds Could Boost COVID-Fighting PowerMultiple Sclerosis Ups Odds for Heart Trouble, StrokeAHA News: Not Wanting to Burden Busy Hospitals, She Disregarded Heart Attack SignsExperimental Vaccines Shield Monkeys From CoronavirusHeart Attack Cases at ERs Fall by Half – Are COVID Fears to Blame?Asthma Ups Ventilator Needs of Younger Adults With COVID-19: Study1 in 5 Hospitalized NYC COVID-19 Patients Needed ICU CareObesity Ups Odds for Dangerous Lung Clots in COVID-19 PatientsDoes 6 Feet Provide Enough COVID Protection?COVID-19 Antibodies May Tame Inflammatory Condition in Kids: StudyAs Americans Return to Work, How Will COVID Change the Workplace?COVID and Hypochondria: Online Therapy May Help Ease FearsAHA News: Is High Blood Pressure Inevitable?People Mount Strong Immune Responses to Coronavirus, Boding Well for a VaccineProms Gone, Graduations Online: Pandemic Cancels Kids' Rites of PassageDon't Delay If Cancer Symptoms Appear – Call Your DoctorPulmonary Rehab Can Help People With COPD, So Why Do So Few Get It?COVID-19 Will Delay 28 Million Elective Surgeries Worldwide: StudyMost U.S. States Reopening as Coronavirus Cases DeclineRate of New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Is DecliningCould Certain Chemicals Trigger Celiac Disease?Poor Americans Likely to Miss Preventive Heart Screenings: Study2 More Studies Throw Cold Water on Hydroxychloroquine as COVID-19 TreatmentNewborn May Have Contracted Coronavirus in the Womb: ReportCould Interferon Drugs Help Fight COVID-19?COVID-19 Is More Severe in SmokersCDC Issues Guidelines for Reopening AmericaToo Many Sugary Sodas Might Harm Your KidneysBy the Numbers, COVID-19 Was Never 'Like the Flu'Compression Stockings May Not Be Needed After Surgeries, Study FindsMore COVID Casualties: Stroke Victims Who Put Off TreatmentSmell Diminishes by Day 3 of COVID-19, Study Says
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics


Scientists Develop an Antibiotic Alternative Against 'Superbugs'

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 29th 2019

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- "Superbugs" strike fear in the hearts of scientists who are racing to find new drugs to fight these dangerous infections, but British researchers now report they have developed a compound that could battle these antibiotic-resistant bacteria in an entirely new way.

The compound, a metal complex based on the element ruthenium, "works by binding to the cell wall of bacteria and disrupting so much the bacterial cells eventually burst open," explained senior researcher Jim Thomas. He is a professor of bioinorganic chemistry at the University of Sheffield, in England.

"We have found a completely new kind of therapeutic lead to treat infections that are top of the World Health Organization's 'Priority Pathogens List' of bacteria that, due to complete resistance to current [antibiotics], urgently need new treatments," Thomas said.

The drug had been investigated to fight cancer, but the researchers felt it might also have promise as an antibacterial agent, he explained.

"So we slightly tweaked one of our anticancer drug leads so that it would be preferentially taken up by bacteria rather than human cells," Thomas said.

Lab tests showed that the compound is "pretty effective," he said.

"We have tested it against a number of bacteria, including pathogenic, multidrug-resistant forms," Thomas said. "We found it is as potent as current antibiotics, but retains its potency in the hard-to-treat, drug-resistant forms."

The compound also carries a plus for researchers -- it's luminescent, glowing when exposed to light, he added.

"We can directly image their uptake into bacteria and watch how they are working within the cell," Thomas explained.

The potential new drug is particularly effective against Gram-negative bacteria strains, which are more difficult to treat with antibiotics because the cell walls of the bacteria are tougher to penetrate, the study authors said.

For example, the drug killed E. coli in lab tests, the researchers found.

It also appears to be safe in animals.

"We have done some initial animal model work using Wax moth larvae and non-cancerous human cell cultures," Thomas said. "These studies reveal that even at concentrations that are hundreds of times higher than those that kill bacteria, the compound is nontoxic to our models. We will have to do further studies in mice and other animals before this progresses to humans."

This is another of several lines of research into new ways to combat bacteria that are becoming more resistant to antibiotics.

Each year, at least 2 million Americans develop an antibiotic-resistant infection and at least 23,000 die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Americans have become acutely aware of the threat. A recent poll sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America found that 65% of Americans believe antibiotic resistance is a public health problem, and 81% are worried that such resistance will make infections difficult to treat or even deadly.

Dr. Amesh Adalja is a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. "As the march of antimicrobial resistance continues and physicians are increasingly faced with little to no options in treating serious life-threatening infections, it is essential to heighten the search for new tools and move beyond traditional antibiotics," he said.

"The new compounds described in this work are unique and have multiple mechanisms of action increasing the threshold for bacteria to acquire resistance," Adalja continued. "It will be important to develop this line of investigation to see if it can yield a drug with therapeutic value."

The new study was published May 28 in the journal ACS Nano.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about antibiotic resistance.