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'Nanotechnology' May Simplify Antibiotic Treatment

Study using nanoparticles in aerosal spray shows promise

TUESDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) --So-called "nanotechnology" may improve the effectiveness of antibiotics by allowing the medicine to be put into an aerosol form, new research suggests.

A spray of antibiotics encapsulated in microscopic antimicrobial silver carbene complexes (SCCs) proved highly successful at just half the dosage of conventionally inhaled antibiotics in tests on mice infected with Pseudomona aeroginosa, a common bacteria that causes a pneumonia-like respiratory illness in people.

"During a 72-hour period, all of the infected control mice died, whereas all of the mice that received just two doses of SCC22-loaded nanoparticles spaced 24 hours apart survived," investigator Dr. Carolyn L. Cannon, of the Washington University School of Medicine, said in a news release issued by the American Thoracic Society. She is scheduled to present her team's research Tuesday at the society's annual meeting in San Diego.

More testing needs to be done to confirm whether an aerosol of nanoparticle antibiotics aids absorption of the medication. However, if, as in the study, dosages can be reduced to a once-a-day spray, treatment regimens would be simpler and easier to follow. This, theorizes Cannon and her colleagues from the Center for Silver Therapeutics Research at the University of Akron in Ohio, could lead to illnesses being less severe and easier to contain.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about antibiotics.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: American Thoracic Society, news release, May 19, 2009

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