A CF saviour
Researchers at Michigan State University, USA, believe they have a solution to help cystic fibrosis (CF) patients battle mucosal bacteria, which bind together and produce a substance that protects them from antibiotics. Currently, infections often return after a course of antibiotics as a small number of bacteria survive – aptly named ‘persisters’. These remaining microbes spread again after the treatment has ended, starting the cycle all over again and causing further damage to the organs they build up on each time. This new study suggests that using two existing drugs, triclosan and tobramycin, to target the persisters could be enough to eliminate them. When triclosan – commonly found in toothpaste and soap – was used in conjunction with an antibiotic used to treat mucosal bacteria called tobramycin, the triclosan seemed to enhance tobramycin’s ability to kill persisters in lab tests, including a tobramycin-resistant strain of bacteria.