Bithionol can kill antibiotic resistant bacteria
Bacteria are getting resistant to the antibiotic. This issue has become a significant threat to humanity. Scientists are trying their best to come up with new drugs, but this strategy is not working as expected.
In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a recent study was published which says that a repurpose Bithionol, drug formerly used to treat parasitic infections in horses — to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including MRSA, a common hospital-acquired infection. This idea has helped the researchers to develop a solution to this problem. These scientists are thinking of ways to combine these old drugs with traditional antibiotics.
“There’s a whole lot of effort these days to try and repurpose compounds to address the antibiotic resistance challenge,” says Gerry Wright, a professor in the department of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University in Canada who studies how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.
The work was a combined effort of Emory, Brown and Harvard Universities. Bacteria’s membrane is a part usually a part of which antibiotics avoid. The researchers came up with the idea of finding an existing drug that could attack the membrane. MRSA causing bacteria are known for their capability to escape antibiotics since most of them target the ability of the bacteria to grow and reproduce. Scientists used about 80000 known drugs on C. Elegans worms which were infected with MRSA. The objective was to find which of these drugs could kill the MRSA bacteria without killing the host and 185 drugs passed this test but only a few such as bithionol were able to penetrate the membrane of the bacteria.
“It’s nice to see a result like this because it does tell us that there are lots of interesting molecules out there, even molecules that used to be used for something else,” says Wright. Bacteria have the potential to resist any sort of drug even though it would take time to adapt. Bithionol is not the final solution but researchers are getting a better idea of these microorganisms.