Patients suffering from cystic fibrosis often gets bacterial infections from the bacteria Pseudomonas. Treatment for bacterial infections is often by administering antibiotics. Research suggests that antibiotic treatment may encourage the bacteria to affect the patient in a permanent infection.
Cystic fibrosis is disease of genetic origin that causes the body to produce thick mucus that affects the lungs and can cause severe and fatal lung infections. These secretions can also affect pancreas and cause serious problems of food digestion. Cystic fibrosis is expressed as a disease in a child when he inherits the faulty genes from both the parents.
New research suggests that the bacteria Pseudomonas can use the antibiotics to develop a protective biofilm that will encourage the bacteria to spread and not be affected by the medications. So every cell send to fight the Pseudomonas may in reality encourage the bacterial infection further for the patients of cystic fibrosis.
The researchers feel that it is possible to break up the biofilm thus formed in the lungs by bacterial infection with the help of an enzyme called Dnase. This enzyme is already used to break up the mucus that forms in the lungs of the cystic fibrosis patients.
The research is published in the journal Infection and Immunity.
Reference: National Jewish Medical and Research Center, press release, June 2005