Treatment-resistance compound can destroy bacteria from within, the researchers found in a new study. Gallium, an iron-like compound kills the microbes. The researchers used the compound in their latest study in order to treat lung infections in mice and humans.
The antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The estimates revealed that a treatment-resistant infection is responsible to affect more than 2 million people and kill 23,000 people every year in the United States.
Looking at these figures, the scientists have started applying mathematical analysis with an effort to study all of the drug combinations that can kill treatment-resistant bacteria. Some investigators have studied the antimicrobial potential of compounds, for example, an onion extract.
In their research, which was led by Pradeep Singh, a professor of microbiology and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, the team studied a molecule that can destroy bacteria from within. They conducted their test in both mice and humans. Their findings are published in the journalScience Translational Medicine.
“Systemic gallium treatment improved lung function in people with [cystic fibrosis] and chronic P. aeruginosalung infection,” study co-author Bradley Britigan, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha explained.
“Our preliminary study in a small group of people with [cystic fibrosis] suggests that gallium is safe and improves patients’ lung function. These are exciting results, but we need to do more studies to determine if gallium can be developed into a routine, safe treatment,” says first study author Prof. Christopher Goss.