Antibiotics can save lives. But the increasing occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria presents a number of challenges for researchers in medicine.
Veterinary medicine is no exception and Dr. Elizabeth Davis, assistant professor of equine internal medicine at Kansas State University, is working to help improve alternative methods for combating infectious diseases in horses. "In veterinary medicine and medicine in general, were running out of antibiotics, so we have to be extremely careful of the antibiotics we use, the duration that we use them and the species that we use them in," Davis said.
To help better prepare the horse industry for a limited number of effective antibiotics, Davis has researched the presence of antimicrobial peptides in horses. According to Davis, antimicrobial peptides are produced by the body as an immediate immunological response to pathogens and generally target and kill bacteria. Davis recently found genetic information relating to two of these peptides in horses.
Elizabeth Davis | EurekAlert!
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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