Program ID: Innovation Anthology #469
Program Date: 03/29/2012
Program Category: Health and Medicine
Iron Focus Of Fight Against Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs
Since World War Two, we’ve developed more than 500 different antibiotics to kill disease causing bacteria
It’s no wonder some bacteria have become resistant and mounted a rebellion of their own.
Dr. Hans Vogel is a professor of biochemistry at the University of Calgary and an Alberta Innovates Health Solutions scientist.
He’s developing a new arsenal to fight superbugs. And it centres on iron that both humans and bacteria need to survive.
DR. HANS VOGEL: So we found out quite quickly that bacteria acquire iron in a completely different way and use a completely different protein machinery to actually bring iron into them. And that makes it then potentially easy to actually map out where in the process you can actually interfere the best to try to make sure the iron can no longer get into the bacterial cell. And now, because we know the bacteria deal very differently with iron than the human bodies, we can also be certain that when we design these new compounds that we don’t have to worry about affecting humans in any negative way.
Dr. Vogel says it could still be another five or ten years before his findings make their way to market.
Thanks today to ALBERTA INNOVATES HEALTH SOLUTIONS
FOR INNOVATION ANTHOLOGY
I’M CHERYL CROUCHER