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New technology shows promise against resistant staph infections
Date:4/30/2009

April 29, 2009 (BRONX, NY) Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have combined their revolutionary new drug-delivery system with a powerful antimicrobial agent to treat potentially deadly drug-resistant staph infections in mice. The study is published this month in the online version of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria cause the majority of superficial and invasive skin infections, resulting in more than 11 million outpatient/emergency room visits and 464,000 hospital admissions annually in the U.S. Staph are also notorious for infecting patients while they're in the hospital for other reasons. Staph infections can be deadly if the bacteria invade the bloodstream, heart, lungs, or urinary tract. As more strains of staph become resistant to common antibiotics, the need for new treatments has become urgent.

The drug-delivery system, developed by Einstein scientists, consists of biocompatible nanoparticles each smaller than a grain of pollen that can carry tiny payloads of various drugs or other medically useful substances and release them in a controlled and sustained manner. In this study, the nanoparticles were designed to transport and slowly release nitric oxide (NO) gas.

The nanoparticle technology was developed by Joel M. Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of physiology & biophysics and of medicine at Einstein, and his son, Adam Friedman, M.D., an incoming chief resident in the division of dermatology at Einstein. The Friedmans were co-senior authors of the study along with Joshua D. Nosanchuck, M.D., associate professor in the departments of medicine and microbiology & immunology at Einstein.

NO is produced by many cells throughout the body and has several important biological functions including killing bacteria, healing wounds, and increasing blood flow by dilating blood vessels. But harnessing NO's therapeutic potential has pr
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Contact: Deirdre Branley
sciencenews@aecom.yu.edu
718-430-2923
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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