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Fluorescent Screening Assay for Inhibitors of Gram-Negative Bacteria

Researchers at Kansas State University have developed a patent pending novel fluorescence spectroscopic high-throughput screening assay to help companies and academic researchers identify new antibiotics to use against Gram-negative bacteria. This assay finds molecules that block bacterial iron transport and inhibits the Gram-negative bacteria from being able to utilize iron uptake in the host, person or animal, making them ill.

Gram-negative bacteria, of certain types, are becoming resistant to antibiotic drugs. This is a great concern because as available antibiotics are no longer effective against the Gram-negative bacteria, treatment options become limited or nonexistent. Without treatment, there is a threat of increased illnesses and even deaths. The National Institute for Health and the U.S. Public Health Service have focused part of their antibiotic research on these gram-negative resistant bacteria, specifically on the CRE/ESKAPE* pathogens.

*CRE – Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae; ESKAPE – Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumonia, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter

DEVELOPMENT STATUS:
The current development of this assay has demonstrated efficacy with Escherichia coli (E. coli) pathogens but could be easily adapted to test additional Gram-negative bacterial pathogens. The method could also be adapted to search for iron uptake processes other than those specific to E. coli; this assay can be conceptually applied to CRE/ESKAPE pathogens. Ongoing research is likely to yield data on other pathogenic bacteria in the near future.

ADVANTAGES:
-Small amount of cells needed; day-to-day reproducibility of test results
-Testing method is readily adaptable to different pathogens
-High-throughput capability of the test-Potential reduction in illness and death with production of new non-resistant antibiotics

APPLICATIONS:
-Identification of new pharmaceutical candidates for humans or animals

PATENT STATUS:
-Provisional patent application was filed in July 2015

Additional Details

Owner

Kansas State University

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent



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