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Top 5 Contagion® News Articles for the Week of June 4, 2017

JUN 10, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF

#3: Incentivizing Antibiotic Drug Development to Address Antimicrobial Resistance 

Experts agree that there is a need for a steady stream of innovation to address the constantly increasing rate of antimicrobial resistance. In a session entitled, “Bridging the ‘Valley of Death,’” the speakers described the gaps in antimicrobial development and discussed how government and private industry are working to address these gaps in antimicrobial drug development. Joseph Larsen, PhD, Director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) with the US Department of Health and Human Services, described how BARDA is working to help pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs for emerging infectious diseases. The general focus is on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense, where antibacterial development is one of the key areas of focus. The pace of antimicrobial drug development has not kept up with the rate at which resistance is developing. So, BARDA has been providing incentives for development and marketing.

More on this topic is available here.
 

#2: Dr. David Relman on the Past, Present, and Future Potential of Microbiome in Medicine 

During the American Society for Microbiology Microbe 2017 New Orleans meeting, Contagion®‚Äč interviewed David Relman, MD, ASM Microbe 2017 Vice-Chair, Professor in Medicine, and Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University on microbiome research and its potential utility in medicine.
 
Can We Get These Organisms Through a Pill, Instead of Insertion From Below?  
Fecal transfer is being done in a pill, but it turns out you need more organisms to have an effect if you administer it orally than if you administer it rectally, but you need lots of pills, like 20-30 big pills a day, to get past the stomach. Some day we should be able to do this, for sure. There are many companies and researchers trying to sort out the minimum ecosystem needed, eg. 14 different strains for 14 different people. Then, the bacteria have to be fed appropriately or else they will be eliminated by selective advantage. The reason C. difficile transplants work so well is that they are given to the person precisely at the time they are beginning their recovery from a bout with C. difficile colitis. Most significantly, these people have a damaged ecosystem in their gut that is teetering and more vulnerable to elimination. If its left alone, it creates an inflammatory environment that most healthy bacteria cannot tolerate, while C. difficile thrives. So, now that we understand this, the organisms must be fed properly during this time along with antibiotics targeting C. difficile.
 
Continue reading more of the interview here.


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