Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

New weapons to combat antibiotic resistance

One of the greatest challenges facing modern medicine is the unrestrained use of antibiotics, leading to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the growth of ‘superbugs’ such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that have become highly resistant to antibiotics. Official figures show that annually, AMR is currently responsible for around 25 000 deaths in the EU and costs EUR 1.5 billion in healthcare expenditure and productivity losses.
New weapons to combat antibiotic resistance
However, the impact of AMR is not only in deaths. Drug resistance means people suffer infections for longer, resulting in disabling medical complications like amputation and damage to vital organs. Resistance also means repeated visits to doctors, longer hospital stays and treatment with more expensive drugs.

Combating AMR is therefore a major priority for the EU, which through the FP7 and Horizon 2020 framework programmes is providing millions of euros in funding to innovative projects that are working to counter this threat. The aim is to strengthen research on AMR and enable the EU to actively promote global action and play a defining role in the fight against AMR.

Faster diagnosis - better drug delivery

This CORDIS Results Pack focuses on 13 EU-funded projects that are spearheading AMR research. Initiatives such as RAPID created a gene-based test for Klebsiella pneumonia, a multiple drug resistant (MDR) bacteria common in hospital infections, while PNEUMOSIP developed a state-of-the-art device to analyse AMR and speed up pneumonia diagnosis.

In addition, PNEUMONP created a theragnostic system for the treatment of lung Gram-negative bacterial infections and nanocarriers for better drug delivery. The CYCLON HIT project also used nanoparticle drug delivery to tackle resistance to antibiotics by tuberculosis and bacteria species associated with hospital infections.

Molecular mechanisms and personalised medicine

The TRANSLOCATION project investigated cellular and molecular mechanisms behind influx and efflux processes in Gram-negative bacteria. SYNPEPTIDE generated variations of peptides with useful functions for the pharmaceutical industry. The structural analysis of antibiotic binding to ribosomes and pathogens was investigated by NOVRIB to create environmentally friendly drugs that combat antibiotic resistance. DRUGS SENSE meanwhile developed novel biosensors based on RNA molecules.

Thanks to TAILORED TREATMENT clinicians can now make better informed decisions regarding the need for, and type of antimicrobial treatment required for individual patients. R-GNOSIS devised cutting-edge interventions to reduce the spread of MDR Gram-negative bacteria. DRIVE-AB will transform research and development to ensure new antibiotics are used sustainably and meet the public’s health needs. Finally, AIDA is re-evaluating the efficacy of old antibiotics from the past for use in the future.
A fresh look at antibiotic design
The emergence of antibiotic resistance poses a significant health threat and hampers the effectiveness of many antibiotics used today. With many diseases being on the verge of...
Recommendations on driving antibiotic R&D and helping to fight antimicrobial resistance
Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, and it’s only getting worse. Innovation in this area is lacking because few big pharma companies are willing to...
Novel biosensors of antibiotics
Antibiotics have revolutionised modern clinical and veterinary medicine as well as agriculture. However, their injudicious use has driven a rapid spread of antibiotic resistance...
State-of-the-art device speeds up pneumonia diagnosis
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), the most common type of pneumonia, is a leading cause of death globally with an associated annual cost in Europe of about EUR 10 billion. Current...
Rapid detection of multi-drug-resistant bacteria
A rapid, gene-based test has provided antimicrobial resistance profiles for one of the major multidrug resistant bacteria common in hospital infections.
Innovative method to help doctors tackle antibiotic resistance in patients
Antibiotics represent the most misused drugs in the world. An effective strategy is needed to help physicians make informed decisions about the need for and type of antimicrobial...
Treating infectious disease with the help of antimicrobial peptides
Against the backdrop of increasing antibiotic resistance, the FORMAMP project has trialled nanotechnology-based delivery systems and antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), to deliver new...
Nanoparticle drug delivery to tackle antibiotic resistance
There is a general consensus that drug-resistant microorganisms have emerged as an ecological consequence of the injudicious use of antimicrobial agents. To combat resistance, a...
New solutions for diagnosing and treating antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a widespread health problem. To help, the EU-funded PNEUMONP project has developed new ways to both diagnose and treat...
Discoveries on Gram-negative bacteria could give a new lease on life to antibiotics
EU and industry-funded researchers have shed new light on how molecules get into and out of bacteria as part of Europe-wide efforts to combat anti-microbial resistance.
Intervention strategies against antibiotic resistance
Europe faces a dramatic increase in infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria. With very few anti-microbial agents in the drug discovery pipeline, effective measures are urgently...
Functional peptides for next-gen antibiotics
In the face of growing antimicrobial resistance amongst patients, pharmaceutical companies are looking for new compounds. Peptides provide them with thousands of options, but...
Old antibiotics – a new lease of life
In the wake of antimicrobial resistance, doctors are prescribing old off-patent antibiotics. The EU project AIDA has re-evaluated five major antibiotics in this class using today’s...

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