Probiotics , Antibiotic combo to tackle bacterial resistance
In a fight against superbugs or drug-resistant bacteria, the MIT researchers have employed an innovative technique that can tackle antibiotic resistance.
In the study published in the journal Advanced Materials, the researchers have found a way to encapsulate probiotic bacteria in a way that they can be delivered along with the antibiotics resulting in the killing of multiple strains of bacteria. The approach uses a biocompatible material to encapsulate probiotic bacteria and combines them with antibiotics.
Probiotics offer a potential alternative treatment method but are often incompatible with antibiotics themselves, diminishing their overall therapeutic utility.
Zhihao Li, Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, and colleagues used biofilm‐inspired encapsulation of probiotics to confer temporary antibiotic protection and to enable the coadministration of probiotics and antibiotics.
Probiotics are encapsulated within alginate, a crucial component of pseudomonas biofilms, based on a simple two‐step alginate cross‐linking procedure.
"Probiotics have been somewhat successful at tackling bacteria when applied to wounds. However, probiotics are usually not enough to destroy all of the bacteria found in a wound infection," says Li.
"On the other hand adding antibiotic to the mix would kill too many bacteria, including the beneficial probiotics," he continues.
For the study, the researchers chose a probiotic made up of three strains of Lactobacillus bacteria — a type of bacteria that can kill off methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The researchers combined the probiotics with the antibiotic tobramycin, which is known to kill Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa).
Then, Li and colleagues applied the alginate-coated probiotics together with tobramycin to MRSA and P. aeruginosa in a petri dish.
Following exposure to the antibiotic tobramycin, the growth and metabolic activity of encapsulated probiotics were unaffected by tobramycin, and they show a four‐log survival advantage over free probiotics.
"It was quite a drastic effect," adds the co-senior author. By contrast, when the researchers recreated the experiment without the alginate coating, the antibiotics killed the probiotics, which in turn spared the MRSA bacteria.
"When we just used one component, either antibiotics or probiotics, they couldn't eradicate all the pathogens," Li reports. "That's something, which can be very important in clinical settings where you have wounds with different bacteria, and antibiotics are not enough to kill all the bacteria."
"There are so many bacteria now that are resistant to antibiotics, which is a serious problem for human health. We think one way to treat them is by encapsulating a live probiotic and letting it do its job," says Jaklenec.
"The good thing about alginate is it's [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved, and the probiotic we use is approved as well," Li adds.
"I think probiotics can be something that may revolutionize wound treatment in the future. With our work, we have expanded the application possibilities of probiotics."
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or drug resistance, develops when microbes, including bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, no longer respond to a drug that previously treated them effectively. Reasons include microbial changes and the incorrect or excessive use of medications.
For further reference log on to https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201803925