Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Can antivirulence drugs stop infections without causing resistance?

11.10.2011
Antivirulence drugs disarm pathogens rather than kill them, and although they could be effective in theory, antivirulence drugs have never been tested in humans. A new study to be published in the online journal mBio® on Tuesday, October 18 reveals these drugs have the potential to fight infection while avoiding the pitfalls of drug resistance.

Traditional antibiotics aim to kill or stop the growth of pathogens, but antivirulence drugs prevent disease by neutralizing virulence factors, the specific proteins or toxins that a pathogen uses to establish an infection.

Scientists have long thought such a strategy could prevent pathogens from developing drug resistance, since antivirulence drugs don't kill the pathogens that are susceptible and leave a wide opening for the few resistant organisms that may be left. Thus, in theory, antivirulence drugs don't offer much benefit to the pathogens that get around the drug. However, these ideas have never been tested.

The study coming out this week provides evidence that antivirulence drugs have the potential to suppress resistance if they are applied in the right way. Brett Mellbye and Martin Schuster from Oregon State University carried out laboratory simulations to determine the effect antivirulence drug-resistant strains could have on therapy. They found that in pathogens that rely on cell-to-cell communication and cooperation, resistant strains will not overtake sensitive strains, allowing antivirulence therapies that target social interactions to work even when resistance arises.

"It's a very important demonstration of the principle that social effects can slow or even halt the spread of resistance to antivirulence drugs," says Sam Brown, of Edinburgh University, Invited Editor on the study. "Their results align with our understanding of social evolution."

Mellbye and Schuster created a microcosm that simulates an infection, says Brown, and they used bacteria that employ quorum sensing, a form of communication that enables the bacteria to time their attack for greatest effect. Quorum sensing is an important target for antivirulence drugs because many bacterial pathogens, including the lung pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, employ quorum sensing to control the manufacture of their virulence factors.

To circumvent the problem of creating a strain that is resistant to an antivirulence drug, Brown says, the authors used surrogates. "It's kind of a role-playing exercise," to test their ideas, he says. "They used bacteria that behave as we expect drug-resistant bacteria might behave." "Sensitive" mimics are bacteria that lack the ability to communicate and cooperate. "Resistant" mimics are actually run-of-the-mill bacteria that retain the ability to "talk" amongst themselves.

The researchers pitted resistant mimics against sensitive mimics to test whether resistant strains can proliferate in an infection. The results showed that sensitive mimics cheat to get ahead: they exploit the resources that the resistant bacteria provide through quorum sensing. This delays the growth of all the bacteria, suggesting that resistance to an antivirulence drug that targets quorum sensing would not spread. The authors say this highlights the potential of antivirulence strategies that target cooperative behaviors and shared virulence factors.

Brown is optimistic but circumspect about the findings. "These results could very well stand, but in the the real world resistance could still emerge and we need to be cautious."

"I think these drugs are promising, even if we do anticipate resistance, because they can slow the rate of resistance evolution, much slower than the rate of resistance evolution to traditional antibiotics," says Brown.

mBio® is an open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology to make microbiology research broadly accessible. The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. It can be found online at http://www.mbio.asm.org

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asmusa.org
http://www.mbio.asm.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Chances to treat childhood dementia
24.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Kohlenstoff-Nanoröhrchen verwandeln Strom in leuchtende Quasiteilchen

Starke Licht-Materie-Kopplung in diesen halbleitenden Röhrchen könnte zu elektrisch gepumpten Lasern führen

Auch durch Anregung mit Strom ist die Erzeugung von leuchtenden Quasiteilchen aus Licht und Materie in halbleitenden Kohlenstoff-Nanoröhrchen möglich....

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Breitbandlichtquellen mit flüssigem Kern

Jenaer Forschern ist es gelungen breitbandiges Laserlicht im mittleren Infrarotbereich mit Hilfe von flüssigkeitsgefüllten optischen Fasern zu erzeugen. Mit den Fasern lieferten sie zudem experimentelle Beweise für eine neue Dynamik von Solitonen – zeitlich und spektral stabile Lichtwellen – die aufgrund der besonderen Eigenschaften des Flüssigkerns entsteht. Die Ergebnisse der Arbeiten publizierte das Jenaer Wissenschaftler-Team vom Leibniz-Instituts für Photonische Technologien (Leibniz-IPHT), dem Fraunhofer-Insitut für Angewandte Optik und Feinmechanik, der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena und des Helmholtz-Insituts im renommierten Fachblatt Nature Communications.

Aus einem ultraschnellen intensiven Laserpuls, den sie in die Faser einkoppeln, erzeugen die Wissenschaftler ein, für das menschliche Auge nicht sichtbares,...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

2. Spitzentreffen »Industrie 4.0 live«

25.07.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Gipfeltreffen der String-Mathematik: Internationale Konferenz StringMath 2017

24.07.2017 | Veranstaltungen

Von atmosphärischen Teilchen bis hin zu Polymeren aus nachwachsenden Rohstoffen

24.07.2017 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

IT-Experten entdecken Chancen für den Channel-Markt

25.07.2017 | Unternehmensmeldung

Erst hot dann Schrott! – Elektronik-Überhitzung effektiv vorbeugen

25.07.2017 | Seminare Workshops

Dichtes Gefäßnetz reguliert Bildung von Thrombozyten im Knochenmark

25.07.2017 | Biowissenschaften Chemie