Specialized compounds that naturally reduce inflammation in mice also help clear bacterial infections. A combination of these inflammation-resolving factors and antibiotics lowers the antibiotic dose needed to clear E. coli and Staphylococcus, according to a new paper in Nature.
The finding suggests it would be possible to stimulate a person’s own defenses to enhance the effects of antibiotics—a potentially valuable weapon in the fight against increasing rates of antibiotic resistance.
“This paper bridges two seemingly different and distant areas of research—antimicrobial resistance and the resolution of inflammation,” said Alberto Mantovani, an immunologist at the University of Milan in Italy who was not involved in the research. “It’s an unexpected perspective.”
S. aureus bacteria being attacked by human white blood cells.