Viral and Bacterial Infections
Bugs are just as important as our own genome. Ninety-nine percent of all active genes in the body are not human. We have about a hundred trillion bacteria in the gut. Bacteria are a group of microorganisms which lack a nuclear membrane and have a cell wall of unique disposition. Most bacteria are unicellular. Bacteria are widely distributed in the soil, water and air; parasitic bacteria live in humans, animals and plants. Sometimes bacteria cause diseases by producing poisons and toxins. Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics and other bactericides. The most common bacterial infections are meningitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, salmonella and tetanus.
Biological chemist JEREMY NICHOLSON brings a fresh perspective to the study of disease. He looks at the body as a miniature ecosystem in which disorders as different as obesity, allergies, and even autism relate to the landscape of microbes living within our guts. Our idiosyncratic responses to drugs and diseases might have as much to do with organisms such as Helicobacter pylori and Clostridium difficile as with our own DMA. In order to treat many complex diseases, therefore, we may have to start dealing with the genes of the trillions of bacteria inside us. Nicholson and his research team at Imperial College London are currently decoding how these microscopic bugs communicate with us. Someday doctors may use his findings to pinpoint which drugs will interact most effectively with each patient's personal ecology.
Why do you think microbes are so important to understanding human health?
Bugs are just as important as our own genome. Ninety-nine percent of all active genes in the body are not human. We have something like 1.5 to 2 kilograms [about 4 pounds] of bacteria inside, and a hundred trillion bacteria in the gut. We've only recently discovered how important they are in many aspects of our lives. I'm trying to understand why some people have good and bad responses to drugs, depending on the bugs in their bodies, and how we can reengineer biology to change the way bugs work on drugs.
How do all the microbes that normally inhabit our bodies affect us?
They are important to a whole range of etiologies and pathogenesis of different diseases, including type 1 diabetes and obesity. To improve medicine in the future, we must understand how to regulate the bugs, control them, and learn the language they use to communicate with us. It is a fundamental biology problem. Bugs might be a unifying factor that connects what seem to be very different illnesses that may actually have common etiologies. In addition to diabetes and obesity, colonic cancers, gut inflammatory conditions, and most likely many autoimmune disorders and allergies have underlying gut microbial development problems. These diseases all look different, but the root cause is unfavorable immunity and abnormal bug interactions.
How do we get these colonies of bugs? Are we born with them?
You get your first bugs from your mother at birth, if it's a normal birth. If it's a cesarean, you do not get them from your mother [but get them quickly from the environment]. So there is a sort of virtual heritability of the microorganisms that you get. But your microbes then develop during your life, and according to your early exposures to different diets and stressors and things like that, your ecology will change.
How will your research alter the way we develop and take drugs?
Most drugs don't work for most people. For many diseases, you have to go through a range of therapies before you find the right one. Some adverse reactions are genetic, but other times they're probably related to the interaction between your bugs and your own genome. Drug companies developing new therapies don't look at the bugs—and they're an incredibly important component of the system. Several major pharmaceutical companies are starting to get interested in this area, and a few papers are coming out soon that are going to give them a bit of a rocket, because they're going to realize how important bugs are.
Should we worry about the growth in antibiotic use, then?
Antibiotics selectively kill bugs. Some bugs are more resistant or tougher than others. Whenever you take an antibiotic you kill some bacteria, but others will take over. If the populations and ecology change permanently, which they might do, then you have changed your biology, because you've changed your symbiotic associations. If an infant has an earache and you give it Antibiotics, you are introducing a huge new selection pressure in the biology, which might just change the course of the ecological development in the gut, which might, years later, have other biological consequences and change the disease risks. When we take Antibiotics, we reselect the microflora in our guts. I'm not just talking about making pathogens antibiotic-resistant. That's what people worry about, but we're actually reselecting an ecology that we've evolved with, which will have unforeseen consequences in human biology.
What are the practical implications of your research?
The main point is this: The human body is a symbiotic mixture of many genomes that interact in space and time. A disease affects all components of the system, and we can best advance therapies for many complex disease traits by considering the human and bug ge-nomic components. Doctors could look at the community of bugs living in a person to determine risk and diagnosis by genetically screening the bugs with chip technology or by doing metabolic profiling to measure bug metabolites.
What do these findings mean for the future of medical treatment?
You've got to look at big biology in all its glory and complexity—a full systems biology, where the system is all the genes, proteins, metabolites, cells, and external organisms that interact with those in the gut. That is the total system that is the human body, and that's the thing that has to be grasped in the future if we're going to understand personalized health care, and why so many diseases are changing in the population so rapidly, and why everyone's getting fatter, for instance. All of that connects to bugs.
Interview by Amy Barth from Discover magazine (Summer 2009).
Products: Antibacterial and antiviral agent
Acyclovir or Aciclovir (Brand names: Zovirax, Telviran. Chemical Name: acycloguanosine/ACV), is a gunosine analogue oral antiviral drug, which is commonly used and is extremely selective and has low level of cytotoxicity. It is mainly used for treating herpes simplex virus infections and herpes zoster (shingles). Zovirax relieves the symptoms and reduces the period of time the virus is active but does not totally cure the disease.
Acyclovir is time-tested, effective antiviral medication for herpes
Acyclovir is the international nonproprietary name of a drug called acycloguanosine which is a guanosine analogue. It is used as an antiviral drug for common sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus varicella zoster and herpes zoster. It is included in the latest breed of antiviral therapy medication because of low cytotoxicity and extreme selectiveness. This drug is also chosen because of rare occurrence of resistance. When Acyclovir is taken in, it is in a dormant or weakened state which is then activated after the body metabolizes it. Continue reading...
Augmentin (Generic Name: Amoxicillin) is an oral penicillin which is semi-synthetic. It is an antibiotic that is used for treating middle ear, skin, sinus, urinary tract, and lower respiratory infections that are due to certain types of bacteria. It is also used for the treatment of bone and joint infections, intra-abdominal sepsis, and GUT infection. A chemical enzyme known as beta lactamase is produced by certain bacteria. This enzyme makes certain infections predominantly difficult to cure. For patients suffering from lymphedema, this drug is particularly beneficial and effective for lymphangitis infections and cellulitis. Side effects of taking Amoxicillin may include vomiting, nausea, antibiotic-related colitis, loose bowel movement or diarrhea, candidiasis, insomnia, and rashes. Its contraindications include prior history of Augmentin or penicillin-associated jaundice or hepatic dysfunction.
Augmentin is a semi- synthetic penicillin antibiotic for treating certain infections: urinary tract, mid ear, sinus, skin and respiratory infections caused by bacteria. It can also be used to treat bone and joint infections, Intra-abdominal sepsis and gut infections. Augmentin is especially effective in the treatment of lymphangitis and cellulitis. Augmentin contains clavulanic acid, which prevents makes certain types of bacteria more susceptible to antibacterial attack. Continue reading...
Ciprofloxacin is marketed worldwide with over three hundred different brand names. In the United States, Canada and the UK, it is marketed as Ciloxan, Cipro, Cipro XR, Cipro XL Ciproxin and, most recently, Proquin. In Mexico it is available over the counter and marketed under the names Ciproflox or Ciprofloxacino. In Ecuador it is available and marketed under the name Cidrax.
Doxycyline is an antibiotic which fights bacteria in the body and it is used to treat many bacterial infections, such as acne, chalmydia, gum disease, urinary tract infections and many others. The alcohol intake can stimulate the liver to metabolise doxycycline, so alcoholics may have reduced blood-levels of this antibiotic. Alcohol is not usually affecting the people who drink moderately and it can sometimes have positive effect in this case. In people who drink heavily the total intake of doxycyxline and the separate dosages should be increased. Furthermore, you should not take doxycycline if you are pregnant because it can affect the unborn baby or cause him a permanent tooth discolouration later in life. Doxycycline is a man made semi-synthetic drug which belongs to the classification of tetracyclines in antibiotics. It is usually used for the treatment of many different types of bacterial infections that affect different part of the body. It is effective against a large variety of bacteria which include Streptococcus pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenzae, Chlamydia psittaci, Neisseria gonorrhoea, Chlamydia trachomatis, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, and many more. Doxycycline is also used as an aid in controlling acne. This drug may have other functions which may be determined by a physician. However, this medication does not work for flu, colds, and other types of viral infections. Side effects of taking this drug may include loss of effectiveness of oral contraceptives, nausea, upset stomach, and fatigue. Continue reading...
Levaquin, also known as levofloxacin, makes part of a group of antibiotics called flouroquinolones and it is used to treat bacterial infections of the sinuses, kidney, skin, bladder or prostate, but it is also used to treat bacterial infections that cause pneumonia and bronchitis, and also people who have been exposed to anthrax. While taking levofloxacin you should avoid exposure to sunlight, sun lamps or tanning beds because this can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. Furthermore, this medicine can cause you to have unusual results on certain medical tests so you should inform your doctor that you are taking Levaquin. Levaquin is active against gram-negative aerobic bacteria such as those belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae group, (E. coli and Citrobacter, Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Proteus, Providencia, Salmonella, Serratia, Shigella, and Yersinia). It is also active against P. aeruginosa, N. gonorrhoeae and meningitidis, H. influenzae, M. catarrhalis, Gardnerella vaginalis, H. pylori, Legionella spp., Pasteurella multocida, and Vibrio spp. It is the treatment of choice for Legionella pneumophilia.
Zithromax, Sumamed, generic named: azithromycin, is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic chemically related to erythromycin and clarithromycin also known as biaxin. It is used in treating a wide variety of bacteria organisms, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Hemophilus influenzae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, mycobacterium avium, and many others. Unusually, it stays in the body for quite a while, allowing for once a day dosing and for shorter treatment courses for most infections. Azithromycin, like all macrolide antibiotics, prevents bacteria from growing by interfering with their ability to make proteins. Due to the differences in the way proteins are made in bacteria and humans, the macrolide antibiotics do not interfere with humans' ability to make proteins.
Zovirax is a drug used to treat a person infected with the herpes virus. The herpes virus can cause many forms of disease such as the widely known chicken pox, the sexually transmitted genital herpes disease and the lesser known shingles. Most of these diseases are rather itchy and painful with skin lesions.
All of these diseases caused by the Herpes virus can be cured with the right dose and medication of Zovirax, that is diligently consumed by the patient as per doctor’s instructions. The medication comes in several forms such as powder for IV injection, topical creams and oral medication. Depending on the severity and case of your infection, your doctor will prescribe you the correct form and dosage of the drug.
Zovirax is not a gastric irritant, thus it can be taken in without meals. However, it must be noted that the drug’s usual side effect is diarrhea and vomiting while the less frequent ones are pain, agitation and disorientation.
Viral and Bacterial Infections