Sunday, 8 April 2018

Carbon monoxide improves effectiveness of antibiotic

Carbon monoxide may improve the effectiveness of antibiotics, making bacteria more sensitive to antibiotic medication, according to a study led by Georgia State University.

Researchers paired carbon monoxide with the antibiotic metronidazole and found carbon monoxide enhanced the efficacy of the antibiotic against H. pylori, a type of bacteria that infects the stomach and causes peptic ulcers.

Carbon monoxide is infamous for its toxicity at high concentrations, but it also has promising potential as a medical gas. Produced naturally in the human body, carbon monoxide is essential for survival and plays an important role in reducing inflammation, promoting cell proliferation and regulating cellular immune response to pathogens. Studies have found carbon monoxide has antimicrobial effects.

In this study, the researchers developed a prodrug system that releases three components: carbon monoxide, an antibiotic (metronidazole) and a fluorescent molecule used to monitor the release of carbon monoxide. A prodrug is the precursor of a drug and must undergo a chemical conversion before becoming an active pharmacological agent. This prodrug system has a three-reaction sequence and becomes active when placed in water, which sets the reaction in motion.

They studied H. pylori bacteria in a culture dish and compared the effect of only the antibiotic metronidazole against the bacteria versus the prodrug system with metronidazole and carbon monoxide combined.


Ladie Kimberly C. De La Cruz, St├ęphane L. Benoit, Zhixiang Pan, Bingchen Yu, Robert J. Maier, Xingyue Ji, Binghe Wang. Click, Release, and Fluoresce: A Chemical Strategy for a Cascade Prodrug System for Codelivery of Carbon Monoxide, a Drug Payload, and a Fluorescent ReporterOrganic Letters, 2018; 20 (4): 897 DOI: 10.1021/acs.orglett.7b03348

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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