DailyDirt: Killing Those Tiny Germs
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The overuse of antibiotics may be leading us into the “post-antibiotic era” where we’ll face numerous bacteria that are resistant to our most advanced drugs. We may need to develop different strategies for identifying antibiotics or try various phage therapies to fend off antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Here are just a few links on finding new antibiotics and using bacteriophages in medicine.
- If we really met the end of antibiotics without any medicines to fight bacterial infections, it would be horrible. If you think Ebola is scary, just read up on MRSA and KPC-Oxa 48. [url]
- Tweaking antibiotic drugs can still produce some variants that may extend the usefulness of these pharmaceuticals by several years. A chemically-modified vancomycin has been discovered with 10-100 times the potency of the native compound. [url]
- The strategy of looking for new antibiotics in natural products has provided diminishing returns as researchers discovered they were finding the same compounds again and again, but new ways to genetically identify microbes could help refine the screening process and avoid redundant targets. Compiling a database of known genes could help identify potentially new antibiotics by highlighting the strains that might be more fruitful for novel drug targets. [url]
- Viruses are not evil. Bacteriophages actually keep us healthy by infecting and killing off disease-causing bacteria. Phage therapy could be a viable alternative to using antibiotics, but using viruses to fight off infections is not a widely used procedure in Western medicine (yet). [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.