Prof. Roy Kishony of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa.
(photo credit: TECHNION)
What scientists say is an innovative way of treating disease - the "antibiotic cocktail," a mix of several different antibiotic strains - may prove hopeful after trial runs.
Researchers at the Faculties of Biology and Computer Science at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have engineered a new drug that combines several different strains of antibiotics.
This experiment was supported by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Israeli Centers for Research Excellence (I-CORE) and the European Research Council (ERC). Prof. Roy Kishony and doctoral student Dor Russ of the Technion worked on the study, and found that the efficiency of an "antibiotic cocktail" is dependent on how many types of strains it is made up of as well as the dosage of the combined strain.
Researchers have been constantly testing new strains of antibiotics due to the fear that one day bacteria will become completely antibiotic resistant.
Kishony's team was able to estimate the current level of bacteria resistance as well as predict the resistance it may develop in the future. This data can be used to find the most effective antibiotic combination, allowing these treatments to be individualized per patient. When the number of strains increases, the total dosage does too, but can be decreased without effecting the combined cocktails' efficiency. The group tested their theory by analyzing several different combinations.
Many species of microbes are able to coexist in high proximity and are exposed to varying degrees of stress in nature . Antibiotic cocktails, such as the ones tested by Kishony's team, work to curb side effects and fight current resistances to antibiotics. This study was eye-opening as it proved how cells may be affected by numerous stresses to their systems, and evaluated how combined versions of some antibiotic strains were able to fight several types of diseases.
Antibiotics, a type of molecule procured from microorganisms that can kill bacteria, and found naturally in fungi and yeast, were a groundbreaking discovery in the history of medicine. The first antibiotic, penicillin, was discovered by Sir Howard Fleming in 1928. Today, multiple synthetic strains of antibiotics have been engineered in laboratories to treat different diseases.