Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers recommend new approach to combat drug-resistant staph infections

24.06.2004


Discovery aims to protect hospitalized patients

A team of international researchers has shown that coating implanted medical devices with a key peptide known as RIP can prevent the occurrence of bacterial colonization, biofilm formation and consequent drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection - a leading cause of illness and death among hospitalized patients. RIP acts by preventing bacterial cell-to-cell communication, a process known as ’quorum sensing’. This is the first direct demonstration that inhibiting cell-to-cell communication can prevent staphylococcal infections. The discovery is reported in the June 24 on-line version of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, and will be reprinted in the journal’s July 15 hard-copy edition.

Staphylococcus aureus causes infections ranging from minor skin abscesses to life-threatening conditions, including pneumonia, meningitis, bone and joint infections (arthritis) and infections of the heart and bloodstream (endocarditis, septicemia, and toxic shock syndrome). Staph. infections are often associated with commonly used implanted medical devices, such as prostheses, catheters and artificial heart valves. Such infections can become tenacious because they are increasingly resistant to antibiotics, rendering them potent causes of illness and death.



"It is critical to find new alternative therapies to antibiotics," said Naomi Balaban, PhD, an author of the study and assistant professor at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. "Our findings are significant because about 2 million hospital patients acquire infections each year in the US, including infections associated with implanted medical devices. Of those hospital-acquired infections, 500,000 are caused by Staphylococci, resulting in an annual death rate of approximately 90,000 patients."

Noting, there are currently no new effective treatment plans on the market, Giorgio Dell’Acqua, PhD, an author of the study and scientist from BalaPharm International, said: "Prevention rather than treatment is crucial in combating staph. infections, and we suggest that RIP may be used to coat medical devices to prevent bacterial coloni-zation and consequent infection."

RIP has been shown to inhibit any strain or species of staphylococci so far tested, including antibiotic-resistant strains, and no resistance to RIP has so far been observed. RIP has also been shown to be synergistic with antibiotics, so it can be used in combination therapy.

RIP prevents the bacteria from being virulent by inhibiting a target protein (TRAP). All rats included in the group with RIP-soaked grafts and also systemically administered RIP showed no evidence of graft infection, indicating 100 percent protection. In addition, none of the animals had clinical evidence of drug-related adverse effects.

This is the first breakthrough in preventing staph-induced infections since 1998, when Balaban discovered that a critical concentration of a key protein dubbed RAP (RNAIII activating protein) triggers the production of toxins by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria through a complicated cell-to-cell communications process. Taking this knowledge to the next level, Balaban and her colleagues sought to determine if preventing such cellular communication would preclude the bacteria from becoming virulent and releasing large quantities of infection-causing toxins. The discovery of RIP has done that. "We believe we can give humans RIP with no side effects, and we intend to conduct human clinical trials next," Dell’Acqua said.

The Department of General Surgery and the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Public Health at the University of Ancona, Italy, also participated in this study, which was funded by the Italian Ministry of Education and the American National Institute of Health (NIH).

Barbara Donato | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tufts.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nitric oxide-scavenging hydrogel developed for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
06.06.2019 | Pohang University of Science & Technology (POSTECH)

nachricht Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

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: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

Im Focus: Cost-effective and individualized advanced electronic packaging in small batches now available

Fraunhofer IZM is joining the EUROPRACTICE IC Service platform. Together, the partners are making fan-out wafer level packaging (FOWLP) for electronic devices available and affordable even in small batches – and thus of interest to research institutes, universities, and SMEs. Costs can be significantly reduced by up to ten customers implementing individual fan-out wafer level packaging for their ICs or other components on a multi-project wafer. The target group includes any organization that does not produce in large quantities, but requires prototypes.

Research always means trying things out and daring to do new things. Research institutes, universities, and SMEs do not produce in large batches, but rather...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Concert of magnetic moments

14.06.2019 | Information Technology

Materials informatics reveals new class of super-hard alloys

14.06.2019 | Materials Sciences

New imaging modality targets cholesterol in arterial plaque

14.06.2019 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>