Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New weapon to combat resistant bacteria

10.12.2003


The problem of hospital infection, severe disease caused by antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus bacteria, entails major costs and great suffering. Group A streptococcus bacteria, also called meat-eating killer bacteria, are another growing problem. A team of Lund scientists in Sweden has now developed a substance called Cystapep, which seems to work on bacteria that nothing else seems to be able to knock out.



If Cystapep delivers what it promises, this is nothing short of sensational. Sweden is in a better position than other countries when it comes to antibiotic resistance, but in other parts of the world dangerous strains of bacteria have developed resistance to most of the antibiotics doctors have in their arsenal, and the problem is growing worse every year in Sweden as well.

Cystapep took its name from the fact that it is a peptide (a small molecule) that is based on a larger protein called cystatin. Cystatin occurs in various forms in the body and is part of our natural protection against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The Lund researchers Aftab Jasir and Claes Schalén, medical microbiology, and Anders Grubb, clinical chemistry, have collaborated with a team of Polish scientists to cultivate and develop the segment of cystatin C protein that has proven to provide the best protection.


“The substance has been shown to be effective against infectious staphylococcus, streptococcus, enterococcus, and pneumococcus bacteria, which include many dangerous and more or less antibiotic-resistant strains. On the other hand, the body’s own flora of bacteria is not affected, which is good news,” says Aftab Jasir.

Cystapep has also been shown to attack polio and herpes viruses. The fact that one and the same substance works against not only infectious bacteria but also viruses is unique. And the substance seems to have its very own modus operandi that bacteria cannot easily defend themselves against. The Lund team has tried to induce resistance to Cystapep by creating mutations, a procedure that is usually not very difficult, but it didn’t work at all in this case.

The researchers have just published their findings in APMIS, Acta Patologica Microbiologica Immunologica Scandinavica. They have also applied for a patent on Cystapep in order to be able to continue their research. Before transferring the patent to the pharmaceuticals industry, they want to learn more about the way the substance works, try to make it even more effective, and try out its efficacy against foreign strains of bacteria. Since Aftab Jasir and Claes Schalén are the project leader and coordinator, respectively, of a major EU project on A-streptococci, they have ready access to bacteria cultures from other countries. Clinical use of the substance may become a reality in 5 to 10 years’ time.

Ingela Björck | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways
28.06.2017 | University of Iowa Health Care

nachricht Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders
28.06.2017 | University of California - Davis

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>