Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Antibacterial agents

Triple-drug cocktail could conquer E coli 'superbug'

A strain of Escherichia coli with immunity to last-resort antibiotics can be destroyed with a novel combination of three existing drugs, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo, New York.

The bacterium carries two genes, mcr-1 and ndm-5, which together can resist all antibiotics.

In a study published in mBio, a journal of the American Society of Microbiology (online, 25 July 2017), the researchers reported that a combination of aztreonam, amikacin and polymyxin B (a last-resort antibiotic) destroyed the resistant E coli in 24 hours, with no subsequent regrowth[1].

Brian Tsuji, one of the two senior authors of the study, said it was the first time that three drugs had been used against bacteria expressing the mcr-1 and ndm-5 genes. He described mcr-1 and ndm-5 strains as “an urgent threat”, because of their high degree of resistance and their potential to spread rapidly in the community.

Another co-author, Zackery Bulman, said the team believed that “the appearance of mcr-1 and ndm-5 in patients may be a harbinger for what is to come.

“The golden era of antibiotics isn’t over yet, but we wanted to help clinicians prepare therapeutically for the occurrence of these strains.”

The team described the finding as “promising”, adding that it could lead to a viable treatment against mcr-1 and ndm-5 strains.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203438

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Pharmacy and the US Health Care System

    Pharmacy and the US Health Care System

    A complete source of current information about the US health care system. Includes concise reports on trends, regulations, policy and finances.

    £49.00Buy now
  • Disease Management

    Disease Management

    Disease Management covers the diseases commonly encountered in primary care by system, with common therapeutic issues. Includes case studies and self-assessment sections.

    £54.00Buy now
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • Drug-resistant E Coli

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.