Thursday, 26 September 2019

Revisiting Fosfomycin, a “Forgotten” Antibiotic

In the ongoing fight against antibiotic resistance, NIAID supports studies of new therapeutics, as well as new uses for older, established antibiotics. In a new study, NIAID-supported researchers are investigating whether fosfomycin, an older antibiotic, can be safe and appropriate for treating lung infections when delivered through an IV, rather than taken by mouth.

As bacteria evolve and develop resistance to available antibiotics, healthcare providers’ arsenal of effective drugs shrinks. Some researchers are taking a second look at older, established antibiotics, hoping that these “forgotten” medicines may still be effective when applied to infections in new ways or in new combinations. NIAID is currently supporting one such study, which is investigating an older antibiotic, fosfomycin, given via an intravenous (IV) infusion. The trial is part of a larger effort to identify new tools for fighting stubborn bacterial infections.

Fosfomycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that has been used by healthcare professionals in the United States for more than 45 years. It is usually given by mouth to treat uncomplicated urinary tract infections. In Europe, the IV formulation of fosfomycin is used to treat different types of infections, including serious multi-drug resistant infections. Because the intravenous formulation of the drug is delivered directly into the bloodstream, it reaches the target organs and begins fighting infections faster than the oral version, an important consideration for difficult-to-treat drug-resistant infections.
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Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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