How long does it take your body to recover after taking antibiotics?

The time required to recover from antibiotics is somewhere between zero and infinity. Antibiotics target bacterial proteins and (for the most part) have no direct effect on human proteins, cells or tissues. Antibiotics in general, and ß-lactams and cephalosporins in particular, are so free of acute adverse effects (the “zero” scenario) that physicians often hand Read More …

Do we need more broad-spectrum antibiotics? NAD-dependent DNA ligases as drug targets.

These enzymes are excellent targets for antibiotic development. But successful development may end up degrading public health. DNA ligases perform an essential function in all organisms, that of joining broken DNA strands together. From DNA ligation They can use either ATP or NAD+ as energy sources to drive the joining reaction. NAD ligases are never found in Read More …

What is the potential of antivirulence antimicrobial therapy?

The most likely future for antivirulence therapies is that they become adjuncts rather than alternatives to antibiotic therapy. That’s the case for one of the first modern antivirulence therapies, bezlotoxumab (Zinplava) for prevention of recurrent C. difficile infections. Bezlotoxumab targets one of the toxins produced by C. diff, rather than the bug itself. It was shown to lower the recurrence Read More …

Re-engineering the microbiome

The traditional technological model of the pharma industry – finding small molecules that bind to big molecules and alter their activity – is dying. There simply aren’t enough undrugged proteins left to support the pharma and biotech industries under this paradigm. That particular gold mine is playing out, and it’s time to find a new one. Read More …

Staph aureus and the neighborhood watch

Of all the bad bugs, S. aureus – Staph – is accounted among the worst. Several hundred thousand Americans suffer severe Staph infections every year and 30,000 die. If any bacterium deserves to be classified as a pest and a killer, a microbial reprobate beyond redemption, it is surely the grape-clustered golden spheres of Staphylococcus aureus. But few bugs Read More …

The horse who founded the NIH

I’ve become interested in antivirulence therapy as an alternative to antibiotics.  The Golden Age of Antibiotics ended about 1990, and although we are nowhere near to suffering a post-antibiotic apocalypse, there is also no doubt that new therapies are needed. It’s not just that new antibiotics are increasingly difficult to discover and develop, but that Read More …