Combos of Several Antibiotics May Work Better Than One or Two

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Identifying thousands of new antibiotic combinations by grouping four or five existing drugs together may help slow the spread of antibiotic-resistance in the future, according to research conducted by biologists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Bacterial infections are typically fought using one or two medications, and combining three or more antibiotics was believed to diminish their benefits. But results of this study suggest that multiple combinations can be surprisingly effective at destroying harmful bacteria.

For the study, researchers developed 18,278 four- and five-drug combinations and dosages involving eight different antibiotics and determined how well they worked against Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria. They found that 1,676 four-drug combinations and 6,443 five-drug combinations were more effective than expected and 2,331 four-drug combinations and 5,199 five-drug combinations were less effective than expected.

Sourced from: NPJ Systems Biology and Applications