Strategies against antibiotic resistant bacterial infections: novel antibacterial compounds and rapid diagnosis with infection specific metabolites
Antibiotics are life saving medicines for treatment and prevention of infections. Today Antibiotic resistance is a global issue and research on novel antimicrobial compounds is a prerequisite for control and treatment of infections in the future.
To identify novel drug candidates targeting the obligate intracellular bacteria Chlamydiae we are using high content screening of chemical compound libraries, modification of identified compounds and investigation of mode of action. The project involves development of a compound class with drug like properties and low toxicity identified in a recent screening. Chemical probes will be used for target identification as well as selection of resistant mutants. Chlamydiae infections are treated with antibiotics that have the potential to select for resistant mutants and contribute to the overall selective pressure on bacteria around us. Compounds that inhibit growth of Chlamydia may be developed into specific antibacterial drugs and even be used to prevent transmission of the notorious sexually transmitted C. trachomatis. Infections can progress rapidly and early diagnosis of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections would save lives as second line treatment could be given in time. The project also involves studies of metabolic changes in body fluids during acute infections in patients and infection models. Using high sensitive masspectrometry and chemometrical modeling we are looking for novel biomarkers for infections and treatment effect. Such biomarkers could be developed into clinical tests to enable more rational use of antibacterial drugs as well as better treatment for patients.
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Emmanuelle Charpentier took the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Emmanuelle has been awarded jointly with Jennifer Doudna the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering the groundbreaking CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. She is a former group leader at MIMS, honorary doctor at Umeå University and former visiting professor at UCMR.