What is a “Superbug”?

The term superbug is applied to deadly infections that are antibiotic resistant. When patients seek medical attention for the symptoms of one of these deadly infections, the doctors are at a loss as to how to treat them. Doctor’s end up treating the symptoms, but have difficult times killing out the infection that is creating the complications.

What “Superbug” is Ebselen able to control?

The research study shows that when mice who were infected with C. difficile, a deadly intestinal infection, were given Ebselen that there was major improvement in their conditions.

C. difficile is actually clostridium difficile. It is a bacterial infection that primarily targets the intestinal tract. When a person is infected with C. difficile, they have watery diarrhea that leads to severe dehydration, fatigue, and loss of energy. They have a complete loss of appetite, and they are nauseated the majority of the time. The patients complain of excruciating abdominal pains.

Since 2011 the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia has recorded five hundred thousand cases of C. difficile causing people to need to be hospitalized for treatment, and of those five hundred thousand patients twenty nine thousand of them died from the illness and the symptoms caused by the illness.

At the present time when a person is diagnosed with C. difficile, they are given specific antibiotics to kill the bacteria. The main problem with this course of antibiotic treatment is that while the drugs kill the harmful bacteria, they also kill the good bacteria that people need to have in their intestinal tract.

People who are diagnosed with C. difficile tend to have repeated relapses of the condition. This is because their good bacteria is destroyed and cannot help their body to fight off the intrusion of the bad bacteria. The people are weakened and more vulnerable to re-infestation, and they often die because of the repeated occurrences depleting them so severely.

The Research

At the present time the Ebselen treatment for C. difficile has only been used on laboratory mice. Matthew Bogyo is the senior author of the research paper detailing the effectiveness of Ebselen in treating C. difficile. Bogyo teaches at Stanford University’s School of Medicine in the department of pathology. His main expertise is in pathology, microbiology, and immunology.

The preliminary results of the study are very promising to the research team. Although the idea of treating the bacteria in a way that would attack its virulence instead of trying to eradicate the bacteria with antibiotic treatment is a step back in time the researchers believe that they have found a way to save lives and help prevent re-infections of these deadly bacteria.

Antibiotics have been so over used for the last seventy years that germs are evolving and becoming resistant to the drugs. Researchers now have to reach back in time to find other treatment methods that might be able to help control infections that have turned into “superbugs”.

This treatment has not been tested in humans yet.