Arthritis drug protects the body from superbugs

(ORDO NEWS) — Biologists have found, that there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis can also be used for the suppression of bacterial resistance to antibiotics.

Many bacteria pathogenic for humans today have adapted to even the most powerful antibiotics. Now researchers have found a way to increase the activity of one of the antibiotic groups. In this, the scientists, oddly enough, helped the drug against rheumatoid arthritis.

Resistance (resistance) of bacteria to antibiotics is one of the main problems of modern medicine. In an effort to survive, bacteria constantly adapt and develop mechanisms that allow them to resist the effects of antimicrobial drugs. For example, some strains of one of the most common pathogenic microorganisms – Staphylococcus aureus – today pose a threat to society, as they are resistant to a large number of antibiotics used in practice.

One solution to the problem found researchers from the University of Hong Kong. Biologists have discovered that auranofin – a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis since the 1980s – could help two antibiotics in the carbapenem class kill bacteria that had previously developed resistance to these drugs.

Carbapenems are a class of antibiotics that are used to treat infections that are resistant to all other classes of strong antimicrobials. Another drug, colistin, is rarely used because of its serious side effects. Unfortunately, bacteria are increasingly resistant to both carbapenems and colistin. Now, researchers have shown, using the example of multidrug-resistant E. coli, that auranofin is able to block the work of two key enzymes that allow bacteria to resist the effects of antibiotics.

Tests in mice with drug-resistant infections have shown that the combination of auranofin and colistin kills 10 times more bacteria in the liver and spleen of animals than conventional colistin therapy. Moreover, in the group of mice with systemic E. coli infection, all animals survived after five days of treatment with auranofin and colistin.

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