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Killing bacteria effectively and safely.

Killing bacteria effectively and safely

Dormant bacteria can be difficult to get rid of with conventional antibiotics, which work on dividing bacteria but leave resting ones alone. Nondormant bacteria that are killed by antibiotics can also present a problem. Two studies presented by New York City researchers at the recent American Society for Microbiology meeting suggest solutions to an example of each problem.

Elaine Tuomanen, Alexander Tomasz and their colleagues at Rockefeller University tested a recently developed class of antibiotics called penems against dormant bacteria. The penems, they found in in vitro studies, can somehow kill dormant bacteria.

The group also tackled the question of why successful antibiotic therapy against nondormant bacteria that cause meningitis doesn't ensure survival. Hypothesizing that components of the killed bacteria cause potentially fatal inflammation of already-inflamed nerve tissue, they gave anti-inflammatory agents along with antibiotics to rabbits with induced meningitis. The agents limited inflammation and improved the rabbits' survival rate.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Nov 1, 1986
Words:155
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