Wayne State receives $1.9 million NIH award to aid in treatment of life-threatening infections

January 15, 2016

DETROIT-- Infections caused by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) bacteria can often be serious and life threatening. These drug-resistant bacterial pathogens are one of the most problematic in the hospital setting, especially in immune system deficient patients, and constitute an emerging local and global health crisis. The development of new anti-infective drugs has largely diminished in the past decade, complicating treatment options for these infections and creating a critical need to maximize the effectiveness of currently available drug treatments.

Michael Rybak, Pharm. D., M.P.H., professor of pharmacy practice in Wayne State University's Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and adjunct professor of medicine in WSU's School of Medicine, recently received a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. His research project aims to further explore treatment of these problematic bacteria in the hospital setting. This project, "A Pharmacologic Approach to Prevent Daptomycin Resistance in VRE," will explore various dosing regimens of daptomycin (DAP), a lipopeptide antibiotic, for VREfm.

According to Rybak, enterococcal organisms such as Enterococcus faecium (Efm) are highly problematic pathogens in the hospital setting and are responsible for life-threatening infections, including intra-abdominal infections, urinary tract infections, endocarditis, bloodstream infections, and infections transmitted by medical devices. Vancomycin is a powerful antibiotic that treats enterococcal infections, but many Efm infections are now resistant even to vancomycin, leaving few options that will treat this illness and save the lives of many of these patients.

"Daptomycin (DAP) has demonstrated bactericidal activity against VREfm in vitro, but the development of resistance during therapy has threatened its viability for future use," said Rybak. "Our research will evaluate several dosing regimens of DAP against VREfm strains in the DAP 'susceptible' minimum inhibitory concentration range with genetically proven proclivity for DAP resistance development. We will also evaluate several beta-lactam antibiotics in combination with DAP at optimized dosing regimens to determine the optimal beta-lactam antibiotic to use with DAP against VREfm, lowering the necessary dose exposures of DAP for clinical success, and successfully prevent the emergence of DAP resistance."

Rybak and his research team hope that the knowledge gained from this research will help preserve DAP for future use and ultimately improve patient outcomes in VREfm infections.

"Dr. Rybak is superbly qualified and well-positioned to conduct this important work," said Brian Crabtree, Pharm.D., BCPP, chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Wayne State. "Dr. Rybak's work - along with his many current and previous research fellows and that of other faculty who are deeply involved in infectious diseases research, teaching, and service in our department and beyond - makes us world-class in the area of infectious diseases antibiotic therapy. I am gratified at how extraordinary individual talent and the synergy of teamwork advance our strategic goals and our mission and vision to improve health."
Co-investigators that will be collaborating with Rybak are Drs. Cesar Arias and Barbara Murray, international experts in this area from the University of Texas Health Science Center of Houston.

The project number for this NIH-funded award is R01AI121400-01.

About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://research.wayne.edu.

Wayne State University - Office of the Vice President for Research

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Can't connect to localhost. Errorcode: 1203