Author Interviews, Infections / 24.06.2019 Interview with: David Houston PhD Senior Scientist and wound project Neem What is the background for this study? Response: Biofilms are complex bacterial communities formed during the natural infection process as a protection mechanism and controlled by bacterial quorum sensing. These biofilm communities allow infections to spread by producing toxins that inhibit the body’s immune system, generating exopolysaccharide and changes in metabolic state that reduce the efficacy of antibiotics and activating virulence factors, which ultimately drive the spread of infection. Stopping the spread of infection by inhibition of quorum sensing has potential to manage a wide range of infections, including in wounds.In chronically-infected wounds, the prevention of biofilm formation, disruption of mature biofilms, reduction of virulence factors and thereby the spread of infection remains clinically elusive. Quorum sensing (QS) pathways regulate microbial motility, virulence factor production and the formation and maturation of biofilms. Inhibiting QS therefore presents a potential mode of therapeutic intervention for infections.(more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 21.05.2018 Interview with: Christopher M. Waters PhD Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics BEACON Center for The Study of Evolution in Actio Michigan State University East Lansing, What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?Response: Our research really centers on understanding and targeting bacterial biofilms. These are multicellular communities of bacteria encased in a slimy matrix that protects them from the immune system and antibiotic treatment during infections. One of the most common types of biofilm infections is in the lungs of cystic fibrosis by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa. CF patients can become chronically colonized by P. aeruginosa, and antibiotics are not able to clear these infections.Our idea was can we find other molecules that make antibiotics more effective at killing biofilms? To this end, we screened about 6,000 compounds for those that would make tobramycin more effective at killing P. aeruginosa biofilms, and one of the best hits we found was the antimicrobial triclosan that has been widely used for decades in hand sanitizers, soaps, and tooth paste. Although neither triclosan nor tobramycin can kill biofilms alone, the combination is 100X more effective against virtually every P. aeruginosa strain tested. It also worked against other bacteria that commonly infect cystic fibrosis lungs such as Staphylococcus aureus and Burkholderia cenocepacia.(more…)
Author Interviews, Infections / 28.09.2016 Interview with:Dr. Bashir A. Lwaleed PhD, FRCPath, PGCAP, FHEA, CBiol FSB, FIBMS Faculty of Health Sciences University of Southampton South Academic and Pathology Block (MP 11) Southampton General Hospital Southampton What is the background for this study?Response: The study merges two longstanding interests. We have long worked out of several departments at Southampton and Portsmouth on the therapeutic potential for natural products (including the medium – chain fatty acids GLA (evening primrose oil) and EPA (fish oil) as well as honeys from a number of floral sources. Secondly, there is an established research theme in the Faculty of Healthcare Science at Southampton addressing continence related issues; moreover catheter management as an economic and infection control issue is a major concern in the NHS Trust Urology department. Biofilms on catheters are sources of infection, honey has proven antibacterial (and other therapeutic) properties in topical applications such as skin ulceration. It is a logical step to assess whether a similar use may be made for honey instilled into the bladder and/or flushing the lumen of a catheter.(more…)
Antibiotic Resistance, Author Interviews, PNAS / 05.09.2014 Interview with:David T. Fox, Ph.D. Scientist 3 Los Alamos National Laboratory andDavid T. Fox, Ph.D. Scientist 3 Los Alamos National Laboratory and Prof. Samir Mitragotri Center for Bioengineering and Department of Chemical Engineering University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106Prof. Samir Mitragotri Center for Bioengineering and Department of Chemical Engineering University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study?Answer: Our research team identified a molten salt, choline-geranate, that possessed multiple beneficial biological traits. Specifically, when mixed in a 1:2 ratio (choline:geranate) this solvent is able to effectively disrupt and neutralize 72-hour biofilms formed by both Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica. Further, our studies demonstrated the same solvent exhibited minimal cytotoxicity effects to normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells and was able to deliver an antibiotic, cefadroxil, through the stratum corneum into the epidermis and dermis. Most importantly, the research culminated in demonstrating the molten salt was able to neutralize ~95% of the bacteria found within a 24-hour P. aeruginosa biofilm when grown on a skin wound model (MatTek) and ~98% of the bacteria when formulated with the antibiotic, ceftazidime. When the biofilm was treated with only antibiotic in a saline solution, less than 20% of the bacteria were neutralized. (more…)