A new Trojan horse approach could lead to treatments for some antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
A deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacterium can be sterilized by hijacking its haem-acquisition system, which is essential for its survival. The new strategy, developed by Nagoya University researchers and colleagues in Japan, was published in the journal ACS Chemical Biology.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a dangerous bacterium that causes infections in hospital settings and in people with weakened immune systems. It can cause blood infections and pneumonia, while severe infections can be deadly. Highly resistant to antibiotic treatment, P. aeruginosa is one of the most critical pathogens urgently requiring alternative treatment strategies, according to the World Health Organization.
This bacterium is one of many that have evolved a system that allows them to acquire difficult-to-access iron from the human body. Iron is essential for bacterial growth and survival, but in humans, most of it is held up within the ‘haem’ complex of haemoglobin. To get hold of it, P. aeruginosa and other bacteria secrete a protein, called HasA, which latches onto haem in the blood. This complex is recognized by a membrane receptor on the bacterium called HasR, permitting haem entry into the bacterial cell, while HasA is recycled to pick up more haem.
Bioinorganic chemist Osami Shoji of Nagoya University and collaborators have found a way to hijack this ‘haem acquisition system’ for drug delivery. They developed a powder formed of HasA and the pigment gallium phthalocyanine (GaPc), which, when applied to a culture of P. aeruginosa, was consumed by the bacteria.
“When the pigment is exposed to near-infrared light, harmful reactive oxygen species are generated inside the bacterial cells,” explains Shoji. When tested, over 99.99% of the bacteria were killed following treatment with one micromolar of HasA with GaPc and ten minutes of irradiation.
The strategy also worked on other bacteria with the HasR receptor on their membranes, but not on ones without it.
The haem acquisition system is so essential to these bacteria’s survival that it is not expected to change, making it unlikely the bacteria will develop resistance to this drug strategy, the researchers believe.
“Our findings support the use of artificial haem proteins as a Trojan horse to selectively deliver antimicrobials to target bacteria, enabling their specific and effective sterilization, irrespective of antibiotic resistance,” the team reports in their study.
The researchers next aim to test their strategy for treating infections, and are working on modifying their approach for sterilizing other pathogens that possess a similar haem acquisition system.
The Latest on: Antibiotic resistance
via Google News
The Latest on: Antibiotic resistance
- Urine reuse as fertilizer is not likely to transfer antibiotic resistanceon January 22, 2020 at 5:06 am
However, going "green" with urine carries some potential risks. For instance, DNA released from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in urine could transfer resistance to other organisms at the site where ...
- Urine fertilizer: 'Aging' effectively protects against transfer of antibiotic resistanceon January 22, 2020 at 12:27 am
Recycled and aged human urine can be used as a fertilizer with low risks of transferring antibiotic resistant DNA to the environment, according to new research from the University of Michigan. It's a ...
- NMSU professor gets grant for antibiotic-resistance researchon January 21, 2020 at 11:56 pm
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - A researcher at New Mexico State University has been awarded $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health for her work on antibiotic resistance. The university announced ...
- Antibiotic resistance: The threat is growing and the research is too slowon January 21, 2020 at 5:45 am
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria threatens our health, but only a few pharmaceutical companies are still trying to bring new drugs onto the market. And they are trying to restrict prescriptions. In the ...
- New species of antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in infected woundon January 21, 2020 at 5:42 am
A hitherto unknown antibiotic-resistant bacteria species, in the same family as E. coli and Salmonella spp., has been found and classified in Sweden. The proposed taxonomic name of the species—the ...
- Marine Invertebrates as a Solution to Antibiotic Resistanceon January 21, 2020 at 5:39 am
The treatment of a wide variety of such infections using antibiotic drugs was rightly regarded as a major medical breakthrough. However, after widespread overuse of these agents, it now appears that ...
- Antibiotic resistance: scientists are reengineering viruses to cure bacterial infectionson January 20, 2020 at 4:25 am
Engineered phages have even successfully treated a drug-resistant Mycobacterium abscessus infection in a 15-year-old girl. The reason bacteriophages are so effective against bacteria is because ...
- Lack of new antibiotics threatens efforts to contain drug-resistant infectionson January 18, 2020 at 6:24 am
Fighting infections is a steeper problem than usual. That’s the upshot of the World Health Organization, which warns that diminishing financial investments and less innovation in the development of ...
- Probiotic Drink that Tackles Antibiotic Resistance Ousts Plasmids from Gut Bacteriaon January 16, 2020 at 5:17 am
Researchers headed by a team at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. have developed a probiotic drink containing genetic elements that are designed to thwart antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in gut ...
- Probiotic drink could offer new way to combat antibiotic resistance, mouse study findson January 15, 2020 at 4:31 pm
A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key ...
via Bing News