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 Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

nachricht What does congenital Zika syndrome look like?
24.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego

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: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>