New Treatments and Approaches to Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

This edition of The Dirt highlights some innovations in treating or preventing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, starting with, well, the dirt.

Hope for Drug-Resistant TB Treatment from Soil-dwelling Bacteria. A paper published in EMBO Molecular Medicine describes the results of research on pyridomycin, a compound made by the soil-dwelling bacteria Dactylosporangium fulvum. Pyridomycin may hold hope for the 500,000 people per year who are infected by Tuberculosis bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampin, the widely used first-line treatments.

Non-Antibiotic Agents Can Render MRSA and Strep Bacteria Harmless. According to Medical News Today, rather than killing the bacteria, new antivirulence drugs discovered by Menachem Shoham at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine prevent the production of toxins that cause disease. These antivirulence drugs are potentially alternative treatments for patients suffering from antibiotic-resistant infections such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Streptococcus pyogenes (strep).

Bacteria-Resistant Polymers. Science News reports that researchers at the University of Nottingham have discovered a new class of polymers that resist bacterial attachment. These polymers repel bacteria and prevent the formation of biofilms, the conglomeration of bacteria that protects those bacteria from antibiotics and the body’s natural defenses. The polymers hold promise for reducing infections from catheters and other medical devices.