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22 April 2017, 01:29 | Jan Cross
Research on the antibiotic drug PEG-2S shows that it can offer a way to fight antibiotic resistance without damaging healthy cells
There may be a new weapon in the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections, thanks to some Manitoba scientists.
Although the threat of drug-resistant bacteria is rising, no new class of antibiotics has been approved in 30 years. Because a number of bacteria rely on the NQR pump for energy, PEG-2S could be a boon in the fight against drug-resistant bacteria.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is often acquired by people with weakened immune systems in hospitals.
Grant Pierce, executive director of research at St. Boniface Hospital and a professor at the University of Manitoba, said that PEG-2S is created to attack bad bacteria without affecting healthy human cells. "We have not only defined a new and effective target, we have designed a drug to attack it without affecting normal cells".
"So it's a breakthrough in that it's attacking a completely different target", he said.
The research suggests the drug can target at least two of the top 10 priority pathogens listed by the World Health Organization.
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Dr Pierce told a Canadian TV news channel that the antibiotic could kill bacteria that causes Legionnaires' disease, cholera, typhoid fever and bubonic plague.
It is the first antibiotic discovered since 1987.
Pierce said the development of PEG-2S is "novel and exciting", although it's still in the laboratory stage.
The two doctors have applied for patent approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They then plant to begin testing on animals and, provided those tests go well, trials on humans.
The research was published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology.
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