Sequential antibiotic use could help GPs beat resistant bacteria

Administering a 'sequential treatment' of two different antibiotics at low doses could help GPs treat patients infected with drug-resistant bacteria, in vitro experiments suggest.

Antibiotics: using more than one in sequence could beat resistant bacteria (Photo: iStock)
Antibiotics: using more than one in sequence could beat resistant bacteria (Photo: iStock)

The findings, published in PLoS Biology, could point to new ways to use existing treatments to tackle diseases that are rapidly developing resistance to current antibiotics.

The researchers compared the efficacy of combination treatment – two antibiotics prescribed simultaneously – with a sequential treatment in which the antibiotic could change at each round of treatment.

The lab-based study was carried out on E.coli that had a propensity for genetic resistance to the two antibiotics used – erythromycin (a macrolide) and doxycycline (a tetracycline).

The researchers found that sequential treatment could eliminate the bacteria at dosage levels so low that they would normally be ineffective used alone or in combination treatment.

Resistance increasing

Dr Andrew Green, GPC clinical and prescribing lead, said: ‘It is absolutely true that we are more aware of antibiotic resistance than ever before.

‘Most GPs will remember the surprise the first time they came across a little old lady who’s never been near a hospital, with a multi-resistant UTI, and now it’s not uncommon.’

New methods to treat bacterial disease were ‘welcome’, but further study was required before the sequential treatment was recommended for everyday practice, he added.

‘This study is purely lab-based, and in the human body both bacteria and antibiotics behave in very different ways to how they do in the laboratory.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GPs face tax problems as missed pension deadline forces PCSE apology

GPs face tax problems as missed pension deadline forces PCSE apology

Many GPs could struggle to plan for retirement after Primary Care Support England...

Patients who refuse to wear a mask could be denied face-to-face GP appointment

Patients who refuse to wear a mask could be denied face-to-face GP appointment

Patients who refuse to wear a face covering when attending a GP practice could be...

No plans for most GPs to open over August bank holiday, NHS England confirms

No plans for most GPs to open over August bank holiday, NHS England confirms

GP practices will not be asked to work over the August bank holiday unless they are...

More than one in five GPs have had COVID-19, poll suggests

More than one in five GPs have had COVID-19, poll suggests

More than one in five GPs may have had COVID-19, according to a BMA survey that shows...

Half of GP partners believe PCNs will improve patient care in the coming year

Half of GP partners believe PCNs will improve patient care in the coming year

Over half of GP partners believe primary care networks (PCNs) will have a positive...

GPs call for PCN mental health recruitment to be fast-tracked as cases surge

GPs call for PCN mental health recruitment to be fast-tracked as cases surge

Primary care networks (PCNs) must not be forced to wait until 2021 to recruit mental...