OSU Testing New Drug To Battle Infections

Oct 16, 2013
Originally published on October 16, 2013 2:21 pm

A new class of drugs aimed at combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, is being tested by researchers at Oregon State University.

Scientists at OSU infected mice with antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Those treated with new PPMO drugs survived, the rest did not.

Speaking on OPB's Think Out Loud, microbiology professor Bruce Geller says the new drugs are synthetic compounds manufactured in a laboratory, "The bacteria don't have any natural resistance to them."

While antibiotics kill bacteria cells by targeting their various functions, PPMOs target the a bacteria's genes instead - meaning PPMOs are a lot more selective.

Geller's findings are published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Tests in humans are perhaps five years away, depending on the success of future studies.

Federal officials estimate antibiotic-resistant bacteria account for about 23,000 deaths a year in the U.S..

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