Home pagePress monitoringDual Trojan Horse strategy to combat superbugs

Dual Trojan Horse strategy to combat superbugs

Date: 18.9.2023 

In the relentless battle against antibiotic-resistant superbugs, science continues to unveil ingenious strategies to address their vulnerability. Like other bacteria, superbugs have a unique weakness – their dependence on iron for growth and survival.

Kredit: Wang et al. (2023), Nature Communications.Iron serves as an essential nutrient that bacteria utilize for various cellular processes, including DNA replication, energy production, and other vital functions. In essence, iron is like a "food" for bacteria.

Building upon this understanding, a research team led by Professor Hongzhe Sun from the Department of Chemistry, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), introduced a "Dual Trojan Horse" strategy, where a metal-based-drug and sideromycins, a class of antibiotic structurally resembling iron, work together in combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

This approach allows these antibiotics to be delivered into bacterial cells through a pathway that mimics iron uptake. When bacteria encounter sideromycins, they are deceived into believing they are acquiring iron, prompting them to usher these compounds into their cells. This strategy not only enhances the effectiveness of sideromycins but also prolongs their lifespan, marking a significant advancement in our battle against antibiotic resistance.

These promising results were successfully replicated in a live mice model, introducing an innovative strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance, offering hope in the fight against superbugs in clinic.

Image source: Wang et al. (2023), Nature Communications.





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