Bern: Scientists have worked out an effective new approach to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) by dumping antibiotics.
It involves so-called FimH antagonists, which are non-antibiotic compounds and would not contribute to the growing problem of bugs resistant to antibiotics.
The most potent of the substances, an indolinylphenyl mannoside, prevented a UTI from developing in mice (stand-ins for humans in this kind of experiment) for more than eight hours, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry reports.
A very low dose of 25 micrograms, given to each mouse, lowered the amount of bacteria in their bladder by almost 10,000 times, which is comparable to the standard antibiotic treatment with ciprofloxacin.
Beat Ernst, molecular pharmacist with the University of Basel in Switzerland, who led the study, said emergence of super bugs has rendered some of the most powerful antibiotics ineffective.
So they decided to try a new approach to this problem, Ernst explains, according to a Basel statement.
"We developed substances that target bacteria virulence factors, keeping them from sticking to the inside of the urinary bladder. Therefore, the microbes are not able to launch an infection," said Ernst.
UTI affects millions of people annually worldwide and if left untreated can lead to devastating complications such as irreversible kidney damages and finally to urosepsis.
Urosepsis is an accumulation of poisonous bacteria or their toxins in the blood of the urinary tract. This can lead to complications like damage to organs and even death.