Fordjour saw firsthand the toll that C. difficile could take while volunteering at Baylor Medical Center at Irving. "C. difficile just stood out to me because it's a formidable pathogen. You get sick and you think you're done with it, and it comes back," said Fordjour, who has volunteered 600 hours in the hospital's emergency room.
In a project overseen by Hurdle, Fordjour and Doan tested combinations of current and in development antibiotics against clinically relevant C. difficile strains isolated from patients. He found evidence that combining a currently used antibiotic called rifaximin and an antibiotic called fusidic acid that is still in clinical trials in the U.S. was particularly effective against different strains of C. difficile in lab tests, gaining better results than either drug alone more than half the time.
This combination could also reduce the risk of C. difficile developing resistance to either drug during therapy, he said. The next step will be submitting those results for publication.
"Rifaximin which is used to treat traveler's diarrhea is currently in clinical trials as a treatment for patients who experience multiple episodes of treatment failures for CDI. The problem is that resistance can arise to rifaximin during treatment. We hope the combinations showing improve efficacy over rifaximin alone, could provide a better treatment outcome," Hurdle said.
In addition to Fordjour's work with Hurdle, he is a member of the UT Arlington Honors College and a recipient of the UT System Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, or LSAMP, grant and a scholar in the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achieveme
|Contact: Traci Peterson|
University of Texas at Arlington