As drug resistance grows, combining antibiotics could turn up new treatments

A new report from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany suggests that combining certain antibiotics could be more effective against dangerous bacteria.

A new report from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Germany suggests that combining certain antibiotics could be more effective against dangerous bacteria. Researchers report in <i>Nature</i> that they tested 3,000 different combinations of antibiotics with each other or with drugs, food additives, and other compounds on several common types of bacteria. Nassos Typas and colleagues found hundreds of combinations that increased the effects of antibiotic treatment. Compared with combinations of drugs that worked in different ways, drug pairs that focused on the same cellular processes were more likely to be successful, the researchers note. The study revealed that a number of the interactions were species-specific&#8212;working well against one kind of bacteria, but not another&#8212;and some combinations effectively treated bacteria that is resistant to several other antibiotics, in cell models as well as moth studies.