Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), led by Charles Serhan, PhD, director of the BWH Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury Center, have identified pathways of naturally occurring molecules in the human body that can enhance antibiotic performance.
In the study, mice infected with Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were given molecules called specialized pro-resolving mediators (SPMs) along with antibiotics. SPMs are naturally found in our bodies, and are responsible for mediating anti-inflammatory responses and resolve inflammation. An anti-inflammatory response is the body's attempt to protect itself from infectious agents and initiate the healing process.
The researchers found that specific types of SPM molecules, called resolvins and protectins, were key in the anti-inflammatory response to limit tissue damage by stimulating the body's white blood cells to contain, kill and clear the bacteria.
Administered with antibiotics, resolvins and protectins heightened immune response by commanding white blood cells to attack and engulf the bacteria, thereby quickly reducing the amount of bacteria in the blood and tissues.
For further details, refer to:
Nan Chiang, Gabrielle Fredman, Fredrik Bäckhed, Sungwhan F. Oh, Thad Vickery, Birgitta A. Schmidt, Charles N. Serhan. Infection regulates pro-resolving mediators that lower antibiotic requirements. Nature, 2012; 484 (7395): 524