A new antibiotic drug-delivery system that improves the efficacy of drugs thereby reducing the dosage used for treating bacterial infections has been tested in a lab by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. A peptide, which has not been approved for clinical use, bound to gold nanoparticles was able to kill E. coli and Salmonella typhi more efficiently at lower dosages.
The peptide in a free form may not be bioavailable as it gets degraded relatively fast. In a free form, the peptide is also not able to effectively kill the bacteria by engaging with the bacterial membrane and disrupting it, while the nanoconjugate fares better on these counts.
The peptide called sushi-peptide bound to nanoparticles was able to kill 50% of bacteria at much lower concentration (400 nM) while the free peptide’s antibacterial activity was not significant at the same concentration
Besides normal cells infected with bacteria, the peptide bound to nanoparticles will be particularly useful in the case of cancer patients suffering from bacterial infections. Rapid metabolism at the cancer site sucks al nutrients and leads to the nutritional deficit in the body. When chemotherapy is given even the bacteria already present in the body but kept under check become disease-causing.