According to a story from BioPortfolio, the pharmaceutical company Synspira announced the results of a study for poly-N glucosamine (PAAG) as a potential treatment for MRSA, a widespread antibiotic resistant infection. It can easily spread and is resistant to multiple forms of treatment. It affects 2 million people across the US each year. MRSA is also becoming increasing more common in patients with cystic fibrosis, and is responsible for declines in lung function.
In cystic fibrosis, patients are born with a genetic mutation that leaves the body vulnerable to infection, especially in the lungs. Due to the frequent infections, cystic fibrosis patients often have to take antibiotics for much of their lives. To learn more about cystic fibrosis, click here.
Later in life, the heavy use of antibiotics causes bacteria in the lungs to transition to more antibiotic resistant strains, which makes treatment progressively more difficult. As antibiotic therapy decreases in effectiveness, patients may have to undergo a lung transplant if they are to survive. Therefore, antibiotic resistant infections like MRSA can be a serious challenge for someone with CF.
PAAG functions by mimicking and enhancing the body’s immune system. PAAG and glycopolymers will not replace the use of antibiotics, but are intended to be used in combination with them. In the study, PAAG was able to significantly improve the effectiveness of antibiotic treatment, and the dosage needed to kill bacteria was substantially lower. In effect, PAAG serves to make bacteria that were previously resistant to antibiotics vulnerable again.