March 24, 2023
With international collaborators, the Chen Lab has helped identify a new therapy for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE). VRE can cause a number of serious infections, including urinary tract, bloodstream, and wound infections associated with catheters or surgical procedures. In a study appearing in Science Advances, the team identified a synergistic relationship between the antibiotic vanomycin and mitoxantrone, a cancer drug used for leukemia and prostate cancer.
Given in combination, the drugs increased sensitivity of the bacterium to the antibiotics, and improved wound healing. As bacterial resistance to vancomycin is widespread, the discovery could be a general approach for treating vancomycin-resistant bacterial infections.