Antibiotics: Thinking outside the vial

Antibiotics: Thinking outside the vial

Given that antibiotics are losing effectiveness faster than we are finding replacements for them, chemist Timothy Wencewicz in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis suggests a new approach. Drugs that hobble the production of virulence factors — small molecules that help bacteria to establish an infection in a host — would put much less selective pressure on bacteria and delay resistance.

Soil bacteria may provide clues to curbing antibiotic resistance

Bacteria that naturally live in the soil have a vast collection of genes to fight off antibiotics, but they are much less likely to share these genes than infectious bacteria, a new study by researchers at the School of Medicine has revealed. Shown is senior author Gautam Dantas, PhD.

Antibiotic found to protect hearing in mice

A type of antibiotic that can cause hearing loss in people has been found to paradoxically protect the ears when given in extended low doses in very young mice. The surprise finding came from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis who looked to see if loud noise and the antibiotic kanamycin together would produce a bigger hearing loss than either factor by itself.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics may be harmful

Antibiotics are not the answer to curing the common cold.The sniffles. A runny nose. A cough. That’s right — the cold season is upon us. But before you head off to your doctor demanding antibiotics to lessen your symptoms, be aware that those drugs don’t always work and can have serious side effects, say two physicians at Washington University in St. Louis.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics may be harmful

Antibiotics are not the answer to curing the common cold.The sniffles. A runny nose. A cough. That’s right — the cold season is upon us. But before you head off to your doctor demanding antibiotics to lessen your symptoms, be aware that those drugs don’t always work and can have serious side effects, say two physicians at Washington University in St. Louis. “People need to remember that antibiotics are used for bacterial infections. A common cold is a virus. Antibiotics simply won’t work on viral infections,” says David C. Mellinger, M.D., associate director and chief physician at the university’s Student Health Service. “Antibiotics are drugs prescribed to kill bacteria, not viruses.”