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Sweetening antibiotic treatments

Researchers at Boston University have suggested that using simple sugars as adjuvants could enhance the ability of aminoglycoside antibiotics to treat persistent bacterial infections.1 The strategy could help improve the efficacy of Novartis AG's inhaled aminoglycoside Tobi tobramycin for treating Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in cystic fibrosis. The results also might open a new therapeutic opportunity for Pharmaxis Ltd.'s inhaled

Bronchitol mannitol solution, which is in late-stage development for improving mucus clearance in the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis.

Bacterial persistence occurs when a subpopulation within a bacterial population decreases its growth rate, thus becoming less sensitive to killing by growth-inhibiting antibiotics.2 This occursin biofilms, for example, which are surface-attached bacterial communities held together by extracellular polymeric matrices.

In addition to P. aeruginosa, clinically relevant, persistent bacterial infections include Staphylococcus aureus infection of catheters and surgical implants, and urinary tract infections

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