Antibiotic resistance – pathogenic bacteria becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics – is a major threat to public health. This problem is exacerbated by multidrug resistance where bacteria are often resistant to multiple antibiotics and antibiotic resistance may become the leading cause of death by 2050.
This potential timebomb highlights the importance of the joint research programme of the University of Szeged and the Biological Research Centre which will look into the causes as well as the processes leading to resistance. The participating research groups, led by Csaba Pál, Balázs Papp and Éva Kondorosi, will create bacterial strains that are resistant to antibiotics then assess the effect of antibiotic combinations on the antibiotic resistance of these strains. These findings will be used by the research groups of Tamás Martinek, Ferenc Fülöp and Imre Földesi to produce new antibiotic compounds that attempt to trick bacterial defence systems and counteract the resistance.
The researchers will apply a new strategy that puts the mechanisms responsible for the control over the development and elimination of resistance as the focus of pharmaceutical research. This new research strategy will be applied by the researchers at the University of Szeged using systems biology; synthetic chemistry and biology to create a new methodology for the qualitative development of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. This research will allow researchers to develop combination therapies based on co-administration of molecules and will also help to restore the efficiency of current antibiotics.