Antibiotic kills bacteria that causes Lyme disease
For decades, the routine treatment for Lyme disease has been standard antibiotics, which usually kill off the infection. But for up to 20% of people with the tick-borne illness, the antibiotics don’t work, and lingering symptoms of muscle pain, fatigue, and cognitive impairment can continue for years—sometimes indefinitely.
The new findings suggest the drug azlocillin not only kills off the disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi at the onset of the illness, but could also effectively for treating patients infected with drug-tolerant bacteria that may cause lingering symptoms.
“This compound is just amazing,” says Jayakumar Rajadas, assistant professor of medicine and director of the Biomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery Laboratory at the Stanford University School of Medicine and senior author of the paper, which appears in Scientific Reports. “It clears the infection without a lot of side effects.”
“We are hoping to repurpose it as an oral treatment for Lyme disease. We have been screening potential drugs for six years,” says lead author Venkata Raveendra Pothineni, a PhD working with Rajadas.
“We’ve screened almost 8,000 chemical compounds. We have tested 50 molecules in the dish. The most effective and safest molecules were tested in animal models. Along the way, I’ve met many people suffering with this horrible, lingering disease. Our main goal is to find the best compound for treating patients and stop this disease.”