Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New substance effectively combats multi-resistant bacteria

Date:
October 30, 2013
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
In Europe alone, more than 25,000 people die each year from infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria. Researchers have now developed and characterized a substance that quickly and effectively kills the virulent bacteria. The substance employs a multifunctional mechanism that reduces the risk of antibiotic resistance.

In Europe alone, more than 25,000 people die each year from infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria. Researchers from University of Copenhagen have now developed and characterized a substance that quickly and effectively kills the virulent bacteria. The substance employs a multifunctional mechanism that reduces the risk of antibiotic resistance. The findings have recently been published in the scientific journal Chemistry & Biology.

Since WWII, antibiotics have made it possible to cure lethal bacterial infections. However, in recent years the efficacy of antibiotics has been drastically reduced due to increasing bacterial resistance. Today, bacteria resistant to nearly all known antibiotics are prevalent in many parts of the world.

"We have succeeded in preparing and characterizing a very stable substance that kills multi-resistant bacteria extremely quickly and effectively. The most interesting aspect is that the bacteria are attacked using a multifunctional mechanism that drastically reduces the risk of resistance development compared with traditional antibiotics," says Rasmus Jahnsen.

Jahnsen conducted the research into the development of substances against multi-resistant bacteria at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen.

The recently developed substance is called HDM-4, which stands for Host Defence Peptidomimetic 4. The findings are the result of collaboration between University of Copenhagen and the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Boosts the innate immune response

For a number of years, a group of researchers led by Associate Professor Henrik Franzyk at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences have worked on the optimization of a unique class of antibacterial substances. All plants, animals and humans produce the important antimicrobial peptides that form part of the innate immune system -- the body's first line of defence against bacterial attack.

"The killing mechanism involves destabilising the bacterial membrane and binding onto the bacteria's DNA, which in both cases results in the death of the bacteria. We have also shown that the substance can activate the human body's own immune cells, strengthening its defence against bacteria during infection," says Rasmus Jahnsen.

Pharmaceutical industry lacks interest in antibiotics

The researchers have tested the new substance on bacteria-infected tissue and the results show that it possesses several characteristics that make it highly attractive in connection with the possible development of new antibiotics.

"It's the first step to developing a new drug. We hope that in collaboration with partners we can conduct a series of tests in the near future to show that the substance can actually combat an infection in a mammal. If we achieve the same results in animals, we will have a potential sensation on our hands," adds Rasmus Jahnsen.

Jahnsen believes the pharmaceutical industry needs to become more actively involved.

"Only a tiny fraction of the pharmaceutical research is devoted to development of new antibiotics -- partly because research into cancer and chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are seen as better long-term investments. This leaves us in the extremely unfortunate situation where infectious diseases once again pose extremely serious threats to human health as the efficacy of medical drugs continues to be undermined by bacterial resistance. It is therefore important to conduct more research into new antibiotics," concludes Rasmus Jahnsen.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. RasmusD. Jahnsen, EvanF. Haney, Henrik Franzyk, RobertE.W. Hancock. Characterization of a Proteolytically Stable Multifunctional Host Defense Peptidomimetic. Chemistry & Biology, 2013; 20 (10): 1286 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2013.09.007

Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "New substance effectively combats multi-resistant bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030093134.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2013, October 30). New substance effectively combats multi-resistant bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030093134.htm
University of Copenhagen. "New substance effectively combats multi-resistant bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030093134.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins