Safer and more effective: New drug can tackle antibiotic-resistant bacteria

The new clinically tested drug combination has shown its efficacy to be nearly as good as the current standard therapy. It also causes fewer side effects.

The fight against bacteria is still ongoing, as these microscopic creatures constantly adapt to certain antibiotics and become more resistant over time. The traditional approach has been to switch to new antibiotics, but our stocks are running out fast. In most cases, we only have a last resort. And if we don’t implement new strategies soon, we could face a great time in the history of medicine where even minor infections regain their deadly potential.

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A glimmer of hope comes from a clinical trial led by the Rutgers team. They studied a particularly contagious type of pneumonia called Acinetobacter baumannii-calcoaceticus carbapenem-resistant complex (ABC), in which hospital patients often contract while being treated for other diseases. A long-known public health foe: A. baumannii tops the WHO list of priority pathogens.

In the study, 181 patients with confirmed ABC infection received the imipenem-cilastatin combination. They were then given either the traditional treatment colistin or a new sulbactam-durlobactam combination. After four weeks, the mortality rate in each group was evaluated.

Of the 63 patients treated with the sulbactam-durlobactam combination, 12 died, corresponding to a 19% mortality rate. Conversely, colistin was less successful and 20 (32%) of the 62 patients did not survive. Preliminary results show that the new drug combination may be as effective as colistin in preventing death in ABC. However, more comprehensive data are needed to confirm its superiority in real conditions.

The advantage of the new combination is that the effect on patients is milder. Colistin is notorious for its serious side effects that can even cause kidney damage in extreme cases. However, sulbactam-durlobactam causes significantly less serious side effects.

The new scheme is also easy to use. Although the dose of colistin varies according to the weight of the patient, sulbactam-durlobactam can be given in standard doses and this reduces the risk of error.

Currently, durlobactam has not yet received approval, but following promising trial results, the Antimicrobial Advisory Committee has recommended approval for ABC therapy. If this recommendation comes to fruition, the new combination drug could reach patients sooner than expected.

Keith Kaye, lead author of the study, expressed his optimism, saying that if all goes well, patients can begin sulbactam-durlobactam therapy as part of routine clinical care from the second half of this year. But he tempered his enthusiasm by explaining that sulbactam-durlobactam is a targeted antibiotic and not a broad-spectrum treatment for many antibiotic-resistant infections. Regardless, it does an excellent job of dealing with this particular dangerous infection and marks an important victory in the ongoing fight against the superbug.

Previously Focus He wrote about newly discovered superbugs living in the clouds. In a new study, scientists examined antibiotic-resistant bacteria and found that they live in an extremely surprising place.

Important! This article is based on and does not contradict the latest scientific and medical research. The text is for informational purposes only and does not contain medical advice. Be sure to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Source: Focus


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