"Given that this technology works differently from antibiotic drugs, it provides a potential alternative for treatment in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Since the material has already shown success in treating skin infections, we believe it has potential to treat antibiotic-resistant lung infections," says Baker.
If the technique proves safe and effective, people would inhale the nanoemulsion using a nebulizer and be able to reduce the severity and frequency of infections that spiral out of control due to resistance to current ant ibiotics.
Increasingly, cystic fibrosis patients are receiving antibiotic treatments they inhale using a nebulizer, rather than taking them systemically. Localizing antibiotics to the lungs allows for higher concentrations, but resistance is still a major stumbling block. Antibiotic resistance is a bigger problem now than it was five or 10 years ago, and there are also more types of bacteria causing cystic fibrosis infections.
Not long ago, few people with cystic fibrosis lived to become adults. But improved treatments in recent decades now allow more people with the disease to survive into their 30s or 40s.
However, doctors have hit a wall in improving those prospects. About 95 percent of cystic fibrosis patients die as a result of uncontrollable infections. Drugs have trouble penetrating two barricades in the lungs: biofilms that bacteria form around them, and thick sputum present in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis.
In cell cultures in the lab, the U-M scientists tested a nanoemulsion against 150 bacterial strains that attack cystic fibrosis patients. The emulsion proved effective at killing all of them, including one-third that are resistant to many antibiotics and 13 percent that resist all antibi
|Contact: Anne Rueter|
University of Michigan Health System