Researchers find new compound to fight strep throat infection

February 20, 2012

Researchers have discovered a promising alternative to common antibiotics used to fight the bacteria that causes strep throat. In an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists discussed how their discovery could fight the infection with a reduced risk of antibiotic resistance.

By screening tens of thousands of small molecules, the team from the University of Missouri and University of Michigan identified a class of chemical compounds that significantly reduced the severity of group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria infection in mice. Their work suggests that the compounds might have therapeutic value in the treatment of strep and similar infections that affect an estimated 700 million people around the world each year. The newly identified compounds could work with conventional antibiotics, such as commonly prescribed penicillin, and result in more effective treatment.

"We know that 70 percent of bacteria causing infections in the hospital are resistant to at least one of the drugs commonly used for treatment," said Hongmin Sun, PhD, the article's first author and an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Missouri. "Rather than killing off the bacteria, this new compound changes the behavior of the bacteria and makes it less harmful."

Current antibiotics interfere with critical biological processes in the pathogen to kill it or stop its growth. But at the same time, stronger strains of harmful bacteria can sometimes resist the treatment and flourish.

"The widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among human pathogens is a major public health problem," said David Ginsburg, MD, a professor of internal medicine, human genetics, and pediatrics at the University of Michigan and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

Ginsburg and Sun collaborated on a research team that included Scott Larsen, PhD, research professor of medicinal chemistry and co-director of the Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core at the University of Michigan's College of Pharmacy. Work on this project is continuing in Sun's lab at the University of Missouri and at the University of Michigan, including the preparation of new compounds with improved potency and the filing of patents, Larsen said.
-end-


University of Missouri School of Medicine

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.