new potential treatment for antibiotic resistant bacteria

New treatment involving removing antibodies from a persons blood shows positive affects in bronchiectasis sufferers.


The bacterial pathogen pseudomonas aeruginosa can be one of the causes of infection in sufferers of bronchiectasis disease. This disease causes life debilitating symptoms such as chest pain, chronic cough and shortness of breath. This is due to a permeant enlarging of the airways in the lungs that makes the suffer at higher risk of infection. What makes this even more dangerous is the fact that the bacteria pseudomonas aeruginosa and other infections are multi-drug resistant. This makes treatment hard as antibiotics that would normally solve this issue prove to be ineffective which puts patients at higher risk of serious illness.

Two individuals suffering from this particular bacterial infection were treated with a new form of treatment called plasmapheresis which removed blood plasma from the patient, then took out the antibodies in this plasma. The antibodies were replaced by donor antibodies from blood donors. The plasma was then put back into the patient this is much like how kidney dialysis works just treating the blood in a different way. This treatment was carried out five time a week and resulted in significant improvements in the patients with mobility and independence being at its best from the last two years.


It is believed that the patients had an excess of a particular antibody that prohibited the immune systems ability to deal with the infection. Therefore meant that the lung disease got worse rather than better, to combat this they decided to remove the antibodies from their blood which is quite an unusual method but the results show that it improved the lives of the patients.

This research could help to provide am answer for infection that doesn’t rely on the use of antibiotics. There is also the possibility that this technique could be used to prevent a infection getting worse to help earlier down the line. Should this prove to be affective in other infectious diseases then could prove to be a vital component in the treatment of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

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