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Could Sugar Supercharge Some Antibiotics?

Article / Review by on May 17, 2011 – 10:30 pmNo Comments

Could Sugar Supercharge Some Antibiotics?

Could Sugar Supercharge Some Antibiotics?

While modern medicine boasts more and more implantable devices – items like urinary catheters, heart valves, even artificial hips – it’s important to note that these novel products carry some unique risks.

One in particular has to do with infection. It turns out that everyday bacteria have a nasty habit of buildingeven hardier colonies atop foreign, implanted surfaces than they would on regular body surfaces (which are fed by rich blood supplies).

The result? Foreign-body-based bacterial fortresses are often trickier for standard antibiotics to penetrate and kill. As a result, these infections have wicked way of coming back, and in a worst case scenario, the only sure way to eradicate them is to remove the foreign body altogether. Such surgeries can be daunting for already-weak patients.

According to new research out of Boston University (still preliminary, of course), scientists suggest that pairing sugars with certain antibiotics might one day supercharge them, helping the medicine penetrate resilient colonies and kill bad bacteria for good.

To hear URMC infectious disease specialist Dr. John Treanor comment on the findings, watch the clip below.

John Treanor, M.D., professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, serves as the chief of the Infectious Diseases Division of the Department of Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is a widely recognized expert in influenza and vaccine research.

### *  The above story is adapted from materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center


University of Rochester Medical Center

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