May 20, 2022

Antibiotics and bacteria-killing viruses help fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria


As the researchers searched for an antibiotic to pair with the antibacterial bacteriophage, they found they could treat the infection with the bacteriophage alone.

According to a recent article by Models and mechanisms of the disease.

Laurent Kremer and his colleagues at the University of Montpellier, France and the University of Pittsburgh, USA, are studying the antibacterial effects of a new combination therapy, treating infections caused by bacteria resistant to antibiotics M. abscess with a bacteriophage and an antibiotic.

The Pittsburgh research team has identified 1 in 10,000 bacteriophage that effectively kills bacteria in a petri dish and may be a candidate for treating these infections in humans; however, they wanted to find an alternative to test their new therapy in patients.

Kremer and his colleagues then tested their new combination therapy on zebrafish that carry the key genetic mutation that causes cystic fibrosis in humans and mimics how our immune system responds to bacterial infections. As a result, they obtained samples of an antibiotic-resistant form of M. abscess of a patient with cystic fibrosis to infect zebrafish and test their new treatment.

By monitoring the zebrafish, the researchers found that the fish developed severe infections with abscesses and suffered a high death rate, with only 20% surviving. Then they tested how well the infected fish recovered when injected with the antibacterial bacteriophage over a 5 day period. The fish had less severe infections, increased chances of survival, and had fewer abscesses suffered by the fish during severe infection.

As the researchers searched for an antibiotic to pair with the antibacterial bacteriophage, they found they could treat the infection with the bacteriophage alone. The team identified and treated the fish with rifabutin for 5 days, which helped the infections become less severe and survival rates jumped to 70%, according to the study authors.

The researchers said the new finding can be used in a clinic to start helping human lives.

“We need clinical trials, but there will be a lot of other questions to answer on our way. […] and zebrafish provide a very useful tool in advancing these issues, ”Graham Hatfull of the University of Pittsburgh, US, said in the press release.

REFERENCE

Revolutionary bacteria-killing viruses unite with antibiotics to fight devastating antibiotic-resistant bacteria. EurêkAlert! September 16, 2021. Accessed September 21, 2021. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/927986