Promising family of compounds against multi-resistant bacteria
Infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria are difficult to treat, as they require expensive alternatives that entail side effects and are not always effective. This resistance to antibiotics is an increasingly serious public health problem, especially when the discovery of this type of drugs has decreased in recent years. A team from the University of Barcelona led by Francesc Rabanal, Professor at the Organic Chemistry Section of the Faculty of Chemistry, has synthesised a new family of compounds with potential advantages over the antibiotics currently available to fight these multi-resistant bacteria.
The innovative design of the UB team aims to prevent the accumulation of these antibiotics in the kidney by modifying their structure to facilitate their degradation and detoxification once the compound has performed its antimicrobial action. In addition, in vitro and in vivo tests on mice have shown very good results in treating infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria, which account for two-thirds of deaths from bacterial infections. In particular, the compound has been very effective, and less toxic, against the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, responsible for cross-infection in hospitals because of its ability to thrive even on surfaces such as medical catheters, and against Klebsiella pneumoniae, which causes about 1% of multi-resistant bacterial pneumoniae. In fact, a trial of the efficacy of the new compound in mice in a pneumonia model showed a clear and significant reduction in bacterial infection in the lungs.
In view of these promising results, Professor Rabanal’s team is working on an in vivo proof of concept, moving towards preclinical evaluation of the new compounds for pneumonia and to clinical development.