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Tackling antimicrobial resistance is a vital medical mission. Bacteria which adapt to resist current medicines pose a growing threat to public health and it is estimated that by 2050 infections like these will cause 10 million deaths per year worldwide. By tackling this threat today we can save lives in the future. One such bug is Mycobacterium abscessus. This is a particularly nasty bacterial pathogen, which is highly drug resistant and lethal to people with lung disorders, particularly cystic fibrosis. The bacteria can survive for long periods of time outside of the body, being resistant to most disinfectants used in clinics where cystic fibrosis patients receive their care. The infection is particularly prevalent among children.
Dr Jonathan Cox is Director of the Mycobacterial Research Group at Aston University and a Lecturer in Microbiology. His team are breaking new ground in combating this pathogen by discovering new antibiotic combinations which can kill the infection. By working in close collaboration with Birmingham Children's Hospital they can also better understand how the infection can be treated among children. The work focuses on attacking the infection by preventing it producing certain enzymes. These enzymes are what allow Mycobacterium abscessus to block the antibiotics doctors usually rely on in treatment. Once the infection can’t produce those enzymes it becomes vulnerable. Dr Cox and his researchers can then test what the right combinations of antibiotics are to attack and kill the infection, having stripped it of its defences. Dr Cox explains, “We have discovered a way to make Mycobacterium abscessus susceptible to simple, penicillin-based antibiotics by destroying its resistance mechanisms. With your support, we can continue our vital work and get this treatment into patients. Any donation you make will go directly towards developing lifesaving treatments for people who desperately need them.”
By making a donation to our Antibiotic Discovery programme you are allowing us to develop the drugs we need to save lives. With your help we can revolutionise the way deadly infections like Mycobacterium abscessus are treated in the future.
• £50 could provide the resources to screen one patient’s bacteria for susceptibility to our drugs, an essential first step in providing treatment.
• £100 is the cost of one gram of antibiotic that we can use to discover new treatment approaches.
• £500 could fund 80 hours of laboratory research for us to develop new lifesaving treatments.
Please join with us and make a donation today.
As well as donations, you can also help us share this project with anyone you think might have an interest in helping – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email or telephone.