The first tests of a new antibiotic by American scientists are hoping to be a powerful weapon against pathogenic microorganisms. The new drug is a “Trojan horse” because it tricks the microbes to take it inside and then destroy them.
Tests in 448 people with severe kidney disease or urinary tract infection from various bacteria (E. coli, Klebsiella et al.) Have shown that the new cefidectol drug developed by Shionogi Inc. is at least as effective as existing treatments.
During infection an iron deficiency is caused by the body’s immune system, resulting in bacteria seeking more iron. The new antibiotic exploits this fact: it is combined with iron in the body and, when the microbes throw their defenses to absorb the iron they want, they also inject the antibiotic.
The trials, led by Dr. Shimogi’s Shimon Portsmouth, which was presented to the medical journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, according to the BBC and the British Independent, show that the antibiotic is safe and well tolerated by humans.
Doctors are looking for new type antibiotics, as they increase the resistance of microbes to existing drugs. There are worrying estimates that by 2050, ten million people will die every year in Europe because of antibiotic-resistant infections, compared to 25,000 today.
The new antibiotic should be tested in larger clinical trials to confirm its effectiveness. Trials have already begun in patients with pneumonia and other infections resistant to the most potent antibiotics (Carbapenems).