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Newly Identified Compounds May Inhibit Strep Infection

Discovery shows promise for reducing bacterial growth

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Six compounds that may help fight strep infections have been identified by U.S. researchers.

Antibiotic resistance is becoming more common among infection-causing bacteria, researchers have warned. One promising approach to deal with this problem involves new antimicrobial agents that suppress bacteria virulence (ability to cause disease), according to background information in an American Heart Association news release about the University of Missouri study.

In previous studies, the researchers determined that the protein streptokinase was a critical virulence factor for group A streptococcus (GAS), which causes more than 700 million infections worldwide each year. Streptokinase is secreted by all disease-causing GAS strains.

In this new study, the University of Missouri team screened 55,000 compounds and identified six that significantly inhibit streptokinase expression. One of the compounds protected mice from GAS infection, the researchers found.

The study was presented Thursday at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Annual Conference, in Washington, D.C.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about antibiotic resistance.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, April 30, 2009

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