Meeting the Challenge of Antibiotic Resistance
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause two million illnesses and approximately 23,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. This number can be expected to grow as more and more strains of bacteria become resistant and could eventually develop into a catastrophic epidemic.
Concern for the overuse of antibiotics which encourages the development of new resistant strains has led to a global call for improved antibiotic stewardship, as well as a search for approaches to infection which do not rely on antibiotics. Biology already provides such solutions, including vaccines to prevent infection. However, vaccines need to be developed to known pathogens and administered well in advance of infection to enable the host to engage the Adaptive Immune System to build up antibody defenses to the pathogen. Vaccines are unable to address pathogens not already identified or newly emerging pathogens that threaten humans and sometimes appear without warning.
An especially compelling approach which has seldom been targeted in the past is to identify non-adaptive mechanisms in the host which can be harnessed and boosted to provide protection after infection. The Innate Immune System provides just such a non-antibiotic non-vaccine target for defense which can address the threats of a post-antibiotic world.
A unique multi-functional component of the innate immune system which fits the profile of an Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) agent to:
- reduce the need for antibiotics
- supplement the ability of sub-optimal antibiotics to address infection
- boost the immune system towards a wide variety of pathogens including those newly emerging; as well as
- address the secondary organ damage resulting from uncontrolled infection.