New Advancements in Antibiotics Catching the Attention of Biologists Worldwide

17:51 May 24, 2016
By: Anna Young

The idea of coming in contact with germs like bacteria is often a good reason for a disgusted countenance, a cringe or two, or even arming oneself with disinfectant spray and sanitizers alike. However, despite how you feel about bacteria, your body is still filled with it. In fact, there are both good and bad forms of bacteria within all of us. Generally, we take antibiotics to rid ourselves of all the bad bacteria, and so far it’s an effective way to treat harsh infections. But while an antibiotic is working, it’s often harming the good bacteria also.

The destruction of good bacteria, known as microbiomes, can result in an array of health problems and can make one susceptible to infections from other kinds of bacteria. This has inspired a team within St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital to begin creating a new, more focused antibiotic. The name of this drug is Debio 1452, and it’s currently being worked on to treat the bacterium that causes the infamous staph infection.

The tests for Debio 1452 are currently being experimented with mice, which are grouped up and treated with either Debio 1452 or a regular antibiotic, like amoxicillin. The group exposed to Debio 1452 experienced little changes to their microbiomes, which returned to normal a couple days after being taken off the drug. However, the group treated with the other antibiotics dealt with harsher effects on the microbiomes, and recovering the diversity of their bacteria back to normal took nearly 20 days. This, of course, is only the result for mice – not humans, which would require Debio 1452 to pass through more obstacles in order to be tested on.

Nonetheless, Debio 1452 has caught the attention of biologists throughout the country, like Michael Gilmore, the professor of microbiology, ophthalmology and immunobiology at Harvard Medical. Gilmore is highly enthusiastic with the results, however he still recognizes that as we develop our antibiotics, we also need to continue advancing how we diagnose patients in order to confirm that a targeted antibiotic is the necessary treatment. This is the nature of science, of course, to constantly refine our knowledge of all sorts of topics. As new tests and studies are given, hopefully the end result will lead to beneficial advancements in treating patients

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