Saturday, April 9, 2016

New compounds have potential to combat Lyme disease

From Stanford Medicine News Center

Researchers have discovered drugs with the potential to eliminate the Lyme disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi at the onset of infection.

Jayakumar Rajadas

Jayakumar Rajadas

When physicians diagnose Lyme disease, they usually prescribe standard antibiotics — and for many patients, that's enough. But for 10 to 20 percent of patients, the disease persists, causing joint paint, neurological difficulties and fatigue, among other symptoms.

New drugs, capable of completely eliminating the disease-causing bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi at the onset, are needed. Recently, a team of researchers at the School of Medicine have discovered a few promising leads.

In a study published April 1 in the journal Drug Design, Development and Therapy, the researchers tested 4,366 drug compounds for their efficacy against B. Burgdorferi in the lab. They picked the top 20, which have all been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a variety of uses — one, for example, is used to treat alcohol abuse — and subjected them to additional tests. These compounds blocked the growth of between 95 and 99.8 percent of the bacteria in the samples.

For new cases of Lyme disease

A key caveat: These compounds could be beneficial for those with new cases of Lyme disease. The drugs are not being considered for use for patients who are currently struggling with persistent Lyme symptoms.

"We know the way we treat the patient during the acute period [after infection] is critical. If we treat them with a very effective antibiotic that can kill the bacteria even in the beginning state, we can possibly avoid this 10 to 20 percent of patients who always have the disease," said Jayakumar Rajadas, PhD, senior author of the study and director of the medical school's Biomaterials and Advanced Drug Delivery Laboratory. The lead author is postdoctoral scholar Venkata Raveendra Pothineni, PhD.

Read the rest of the story:

Bob Cowart
Phone: 510-540-6667
Facebook: bcowart1
Twitter: @bobcowart

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