Scientists Wednesday unveiled a drug combination that destroys antibiotic-resistant germs in mice, potentially opening a new front against chronic and relapsing infections in humans.
Big Pharma had been closely interested in a compound dubbed acyldepsipeptide (ADEP), only to drop it when some germs became resistant to it.
But scientists in the United States reported that, when used alongside conventional antibiotics, ADEP proved to be a relentless killer.
“We decided to pair it to conventional antibiotics.… to stem the propagation of (drug) resistant cells,” said study co-author Kim Lewis of Northeastern University in Boston.
The combination “completely sterilised” bacteria in a Petri dish and in mice whose thighs had been severely infected, said Lewis.
“Efficacy in an animal model is actually a pretty good predictor of efficacy in humans, so I think it is entirely realistic” that a drug may result, he added.
Humans rely on antibiotics to fight off a vast array of bacterial diseases, from tonsillitis to tuberculosis.