Novel Molecule May Help Antibiotics to Treat Pneumonia

Dec, 2021 - By WMR

Novel Molecule May Help Antibiotics to Treat Pneumonia

Researchers developed a therapy that targets host cells with a synthetic molecule known as EEZE to treat pneumonia.

Pneumonia caused by pneumococcal pneumonia or streptococcus pneumoniae has become the leading cause of deaths caused by the disease across the globe, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It is usually treated with antibiotics, however these drugs become less effective as bacteria becomes resistant to them. A team of scientists from National Institute of Health (NIH) developed a treatment that increases immune cells to kill the bacteria with more efficiency with a synthetic molecule called as EEZE for the treatment of pneumonia.

With the investigation of complex interplay between immune cells known as macrophages, inflammation and bacteria, the new research found a way to treat pneumonia. Macrophages guard the body from foreign molecules, destroying and engulfing dangers such as bacteria. A compound termed as epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) is known for limiting inflammation, however during infections these EETs are suppressed to let inflammation and immune cell destroy invaders. Hence, in this new study the scientists blocked EETs with synthetic molecule called as EEZE and tested it in engineered mice that were infected with a common bacteria causing pneumonia, streptococcus pneumoniae.

Furthermore, the scientists observed a significant decrease in the numbers of bacteria in the lung of mice that received EEZE doses compared to the control group. The team then conducted the test in human cells, where they took macrophages from blood samples and lung. The cells that received EEZE killed more bacteria than those who did not. Using these novel molecules in a pill or an inhaler could promote bacterial killing making the antibiotics more efficient.  According to the scientists, even if the animal tests results may not translate into humans, this study opens new ways for research.

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