Scientists develop a fatty 'kryptonite' to defeat multidrug-resistant 'Super bugs'

"Super bugs," which can cause wide-spread disease and may be resistant to most, if not all, conventional antibiotics, still have their weaknesses. A team of Canadian scientists discovered that specific mixtures of antimicrobial agents presented in lipid (fatty) mixtures can significantly boost the effectiveness of those agents to kill the resistant bacteria. This discovery was published online in The FASEB Journal.

According to a researcher involved in the study, Richard Epand, Ph.D. from the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Science at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, "This study may contribute to overcoming the lethal effects of that is becoming an increasing clinical problem, particularly in hospitals."

To make their discovery, Epand and colleagues conducted experiments using groups of mice infected with lethal doses of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli). Researchers then treated the mice with conventional drug combinations or encapsulated in lipid mixtures. They found that certain lipid mixtures caused the drugs to act together in a synergistic manner. In this form, the drugs were much more effective in increasing the survival rate of the mice because they overcame the used by these bacteria to defeat therapeutic agents. This study also demonstrated a novel use of a new family of antimicrobial agents called oligo-acyl-lysyls, which have the potential to be combined with other drugs and lipid mixtures with similar properties to yield a platform for other specific applications.

"As we've seen in the recent E.Coli outbreak in Germany, bacteria can mutate to become super bugs that resist antibiotics," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The , "Thanks to this new, lipid-based antibiotic therapy. multidrug-resistant bacteria may begin to look more like Jimmy Olsen and a lot less like Superman."


Explore further

Drug-resistant bacteria can be controlled

More information: Hadar Sarig, Dafna Ohana, Raquel F. Epand, Amram Mor, and Richard M. Epand. Functional studies of cochleate assemblies of an oligo-acyl-lysyl with lipid mixtures for combating bacterial multidrug resistance. FASEB J; doi:10.1096/fj.11-183764
Citation: Scientists develop a fatty 'kryptonite' to defeat multidrug-resistant 'Super bugs' (2011, June 16) retrieved 6 December 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-06-scientists-fatty-kryptonite-defeat-multidrug-resistant.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments