There could be possible answers to those “superbug” that are resistant to all known antibiotics and Hamilton’s McMaster University is behind the research.
The advancement here at McMaster comes on the heals of the World Health Organization’s list of dangerous superbugs. Twelve families of bacteria that are the most serious threat to humans. While there have been calls to create new drugs for treatment, McMaster is offering another solution.
There’s a class of bacteria that are among the most concerning in the world called “Gram-Negative” bacteria. Researchers say those pathogens found a way to protect themselves against any drug that might try to kill them. The superbugs have a shell making it harder to treat the problem.
Professor Eric Brown says it was like trying to find a needle in a hay stack going through over a thousand drugs to discover the best one to attack the superbugs. According to Brown, ” The discovery was made at the first academic lab in the country, right here at McMaster University, the researchers used this machine called an automated liquid handler in order to find the drug that breaks down the bacteria.”
It’s called Pentamidine. Through animal testing they found the anti-fungal medication cracked the superbugs shell which helps other antibiotics treat the world’s most threatening infectious diseases.
And the resistant bacteria can lead to pnemonia, blood infections as well as meningitis and respiratory infections.
Ontario’s Health Minister learned the results of the study today and says that it sounds extremely promising and hopes the Province would consider funding further research.
The next step would be human clinical trials.
The study at the university was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, The National Science and Engineering Research Council and Cystic Fibrosis Canada.
The work will continue here at the school as researchers look for other potential drugs that are capable of breaking down the superbugs.