Now Playing:

Radio

Science | Health | Think Out Loud

OSU Researchers Make Strides In New Treatment for "Superbugs"


Scanning electron microscope image of A. baumannii, with maps of its genome (outer circle) and alien island sequences (inner circle – red).

Scanning electron microscope image of A. baumannii, with maps of its genome (outer circle) and alien island sequences (inner circle – red).

Courtesy of J.Carr/CDC; T.Gianoulis and D.Massa/Yale

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that two million Americans are infected with antibiotic-resistant bactera every year and at least 23,000 die from those infections. Researchers at Oregon State University and other institutions published a paper this week about a new kind of antibiotic that could treat these drug-resistant bacteria, sometimes called superbugs.

The new antibiotics, known by the acronym PPMO, are still in development and won’t be tested on humans for at least a few years. In animal tests, PPMOs were effective in treating a strain of Acinetobacter, a dangerous pathogen that often strikes patients in hospital intentsive care units. Unlike many existing antibiotics, the new drug is completely synthetic. It’s designed to be incredibly precise, attacking a specific strain of bacteria at the genetic level.

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Think Out Loud

More OPB

Follow Think Out Loud

Send Think Out Loud A Message