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Antibiotic effective against superbug C. difficile

Thuricin CD, an antibiotic licensed to Alimentary Health, has been found to be effective against the hospital-acquired superbug Clostridium difficile.

Clostridium difficile is the most rapidly increasing hospital-acquired illness in the Western world and is a major cause of death, particularly in the elderly. It is estimated that the annual cost of treating the diarrhoea associated with C. difficile amounts to €3 billion in the EU alone.

C. difficile infections arise as a direct result of disturbing gut bacteria after antibiotic treatment. Current antibiotics of choice for the treatment of the diarrhoea associated with C. difficile are the broad-spectrum antibiotics vancomycin or metronidazole, but treatment failures and recurrence of infection are common; the emergence of strains with increased resistance to these antibiotics has also been reported.

The new antibiotic (antimicrobial peptide) could reduce the risk of disease recurrence compared with that of broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment because it spares the normal gut flora that helps limit C. difficile growth.

The discovery was made by scientists at UCC, Teagasc and the University of Alberta (Canada), and the research, funded by Science Foundation Ireland, has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.

Barry Kiely, CEO of Alimentary Health, said: ‘We are delighted with the results of this research. It is of significant value to Alimentary Health to be associated with research and scientists of this calibre. We look forward to pursuing the development of this important asset and we will be actively seeking partners to assist us in bringing this product into the clinic.’

Thuricin CD is licensed to Alimentary Health by UCC’s Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC).

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Pharmacology/ Therapeutics


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