Beyond Antibiotics: 'PPMOs' Offer New Approach to Bacterial Infection, Other Diseases - Part 1
Beyond Antibiotics: 'PPMOs' Offer New Approach to Bacterial Infection, Other Diseases
Oct. 15, 2013 — Researchers at Oregon State University and other institutions today announced the successful use of a new type of antibacterial agent called a PPMO, which appears to function as well or better than an antibiotic, but may be more precise and also solve problems with antibiotic resistance.
In animal studies, one form of PPMO showed significant control of two strains of Acinetobacter, a group of bacteria of global concern that has caused significant mortality among military personnel serving in Middle East combat.
The new PPMOs offer a fundamentally different attack on bacterial infection, researchers say.
They specifically target the underlying genes of a bacterium, whereas conventional antibiotics just disrupt its cellular function and often have broader, unwanted impacts. As they are further developed, PPMOs should offer a completely different and more precise approach to managing bacterial infection, or conceptually almost any disease that has an underlying genetic component.
The findings were published today in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, by researchers from OSU, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and Sarepta, Inc., a Corvallis, Ore., firm.
"The mechanism that PPMOs use to kill bacteria is revolutionary," said Bruce Geller, a professor of microbiology in the OSU College of Science and lead author on the study. "They can be synthesized to target almost any gene, and in that way avoid the development of antibiotic resistance and the negative impacts sometimes associated with broad-spectrum antibiotics