A New Weapon in the Fight Against Abscesses

A New Weapon in the Fight Against Abscesses

A peptide developed by researchers at the University of British Columbia prevented drug-resistant bacteria from forming abscesses, or painful pus-filled lesions.

The peptide is a mini-protein, and works by disrupting the bacterial stress response.

There are 3.2 million emergency room visits each year in the United States due to abscesses. Standard treatment typically involves cutting to remove the infected tissue, or draining it. Antibiotics rarely work as a treatment.

This peptide offers a less invasive alternative.

“Abscesses can occur almost anywhere in the body, and antibiotics aren’t usually effective on them,” said Bob Hancock, a Professor in UBC’s department of microbiology said. “Our peptide offers a new strategy, because its mechanism is completely different from every known antibiotic.”

Hancock is also the senior author of the study published in EBioMedicine.

Hancock and UBC researchers used DJK-5, their synthetic peptide to interfere with the bacteria’s stress response and heal abscesses in mice.

Hancock said he is hoping for clinical trials to begin within a year.

His study “Bacterial Abscess Formation Is Controlled by the Stringent Stress Response and Can Be Targeted Therapeutically” appears online in EBioMedicine.

 

Dr. Steven Lipsky

Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP has been a Board Certified Emergency Physician in Arizona for the last 41 years, and a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley for the last 40 years. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University School of Medicine and did post-graduate training in Family Practice at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix before going into the full-time practice of Emergency Medicine in 1975. Dr. Lipsky has worked in every type of Emergency Department in Arizona – from inner city and rural, small volume and large, public and private hospitals, teaching and nonteaching hospitals. He has taught at the Midwestern University Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine – Division of Clinical Education, as well as in Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine Arizona. He has received the highest number of patient satisfaction letters in his group at multiple facilities and has been recognized at Paradise Valley Hospital for his outstanding performance. A past president of the Arizona College of Emergency Physicians (representing over 800 Emergency Physicians in our state) along with many other positions in the organization, Dr. Lipsky was also one of six Councillors representing Arizona to the National Council of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Lipsky built, owned, and was the Medical Director for the first 24hr free-standing Emergicenter and Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service in Jamaica. In conjunction with USAID, Cornell Medical Center’s School of Public Health, the Ministry of Health and Environmental Control of Jamaica, and the U.S. Peace Corps, he participated in a successful program to stem infant mortality in rural areas.

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