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Scientists at the Ineos Oxford Institute (IOI) have found a new potential combination therapy to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by targeting two key bacterial enzymes involved in resistance. The findings have been published in the journal Engineering.

Hands with a petri dish © Getty Images

Meropenem is a critical antibiotic used to treat serious multidrug-resistant infections like sepsis when other antibiotics such as penicillin have failed. However, this last resort drug is becoming less effective at treating infections due to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

One effective strategy to restore the activity of the antibiotic is to use a combination therapy to counter bacterial resistance mechanisms. An antibiotic combination treatment includes an antibiotic and an inhibitor. The inhibitor prevents bacterial enzymes such as metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) and serine-β-lactamases (SBLs) from breaking down the antibiotic before it has its desired effect to treat the infection.

Research to date has largely focused on developing SBL inhibitors and these are now widely used in clinics and hospitals. Scientists at the IOI are developing new MBL inhibitors to be used in combination therapies.


Read the full story on the University of Oxford website.