A new approach that may help in treating severe lung infections in people with cystic fibrosis (CF), has been suggested by researchers from the University of Calgary.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium associated with severe lung infections and is a constant threat to the health of CF patients.
The research team led by Michael Surette, Professor of Medicine at the University of Calgary has found that a group of previously overlooked and often undetected bacteria, the Streptococcus milleri group (SMG), compounds the danger of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Currently, doctors have treated Pseudomonas with antibiotics, however, this bacteria is gradually becoming treatment resistant.
The researchers suggest that simply targeting SMG can help treat severe lung infections.
While testing the new approach, the research team found that patients treated with SMG-targeted therapies quickly returned to a stable state.
"This is important new information," said Surette.
"In our small patient group, the laboratory findings have been used to guide treatment, with positive results," he added.
Initial study results show that it may also be a treatment option for individuals with chronic lung infections unrelated to CF.
"These findings underline the importance of supporting CF research," said Cathleen Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
"In this case, laboratory research has been translated rapidly into actual treatment, helping people with cystic fibrosis fight back against aggressive infections," she added.
These findings are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA.