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Designing synergistic combinations to prevent antibiotic resistance

30 months
Approved budget:
Dr Stephanie Dawes
Associate Professor Jeremy Lott
Health issue:
Infectious disease
Proposal type:
Explorer Grant
Lay summary
Synergistic antibiotics interact positively with each other to give more than the sum of their individual benefits. They give greater benefit than would be expected from antibiotics that are not synergistic, and produce better treatment outcomes in terms of enhanced effectiveness, lower side effects and reduced antimicrobial resistance. Current antibiotic development does not design for synergy from the outset, because we do not have a sufficient understanding of the checks and balances involved in bacterial metabolism. Thus, current antibiotic regimens are most often combinations of drugs that are merely additive. We propose to test a road map for drug development which aims to incorporate the discovery of synergy with every new drug developed. This road map will also work retrospectively for current drugs, enabling more effective therapeutic regimens, and the possible rescue of antibiotics in drug resistant cases.