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Common antibioitics should be reworked to fight against resistance


Common antibiotics could be “resuscitated” to make them more effective against resistant bugs, say researchers.

The technique involves combining the drugs with additional compounds.

Scientists from University College Dublin in the Irish Republic studied a range of hospital-sampled bacteria that were resistant to the common antibiotic ciprofloxacin.

Tests showed that five “adjuvant” compounds increased the power of ciprofloxacin to defeat the bugs up to six-fold.

Lead researcher Dr Marta Martins said: “Antimicrobial resistance is a growing problem that is threatening to make many infections impossible to treat. There are very few new antibacterial drugs coming on to the market so it is vital that we find ways to extend the use of existing antibiotics as much as possible.

“Adjuvant therapy essentially means that antibiotics that are currently ineffective can be ‘resuscitated’ to treat infections that previously would have been considered resistant.”

The research was presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Dublin.

Dr Martins added: “Hopefully this work will allow antibiotics to be incorporated into treatment regimes and administered in more effective ways.

“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.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • Kadiyali Srivatsa

    This is like trying hard to extinguish a wild forest fire. The main problem we have is lack of insight. Majority of doctors in primary care do not know how to define "Inflammation" nor do they think antibiotic resistance is a major threat to us all.

    I have been publishing articles and videos trying to spread the message since 2003 but failed to help bring in changes.

    Doctors in UK criticize and blame countries for allowing people buy antibiotics without prescriptions as a problem but refuse to accept that nurses and paramedics licensed to prescribe is equally bad.

    When medical professionals who believe inflammation is synonymous with infection and encourage patients to consume antibiotics, how can we educate them to choose adjutants that may or may not be the solution.

    This blind hypothetical assumption is likely to make this problem worse and must not be promoted similar to orphan drugs.

    The options we have are to make sure the patient has bacterial infection and treat them with adequate dose and isolate them from health young adults and children.

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  • Kadiyali Srivatsa | 29-Mar-2012 11:58 am

    Doctors in UK criticize and blame countries for allowing people buy antibiotics without prescriptions as a problem but refuse to accept that nurses and paramedics licensed to prescribe is equally bad.

    In this country the nurse prescribers course is extremely rigorous and we are expected to know every side effect and interaction with every drug we prescribe. For instance, were you aware that we should not prescribe Gaviscon to patients with liver problems as it has Aluminnium in it? I bet you didn't.

    Most junior doctors do not have a clue about any drug apart from it is bad to prescribe Paracetamol more than 4g in 24hours. Just don't ask them why.

    This article though raises some interesting questions about the super drugs that can be designed to combat infections. I wonder if they have managed to study the super-super-super bugs that will develop resistance soon after? The antibiotic they chose is interesting in itself as there are links reporting that it may be a cause of Clostridium Difficile. I wonder if these new ones can cause the patients to explode in an even more spectacular fashion if they develop a stronger infection?

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  • how about the irresponsible sale of over the counter antibiotics in the UK such as gentamycin eye drops, as one example. these are prescription only in other European countries and gentamycin has been banned because of its side effects. there should be EU laws on the sale and use of drugs which are Europe wide and enforcement of these laws in all European countries otherwise customers just slip over the border to purchase what they want in another country without prescription from a medical practitioner.

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  • I would also question antibacterial cleaners and washing up liquids and resistance. these are widely available in the UK. In Europe more natural products are on sale such as household vinegar which is a very effective cleanser and much cheaper too.

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