A study, published in the April 2017 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, describes a new treatment pathway for antibiotic-resistant bacteria and infectious diseases with benefits for patients and health care providers. Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Newcastle University in the UK found that the unusual approach of removing antibodies from the blood stream reduced the effects of chronic infections, the requirement for days spent in hospital, and the use of antibiotics. In this study, the team identified two patients with bronchiectasis who suffered with chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections that were resistant to many antibiotics: a 64-year-old male, diagnosed with bronchiectasis at age 15, and a 69-year-old female who had bronchiectasis from childhood. Bronchiectasis is a disease that leads to permanent enlargement of the airways in the lung and affects over 300,000 patients in the UK. Symptoms are debilitating for patients, and typically include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain. Bronchiectasis often affects patients beyond the age at which lung transplantation is possible. Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infections commonly occur in patients suffering from bronchiectasis. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common bacterium that can cause disease and is known as a multidrug resistant pathogen, recognized for its advanced antibiotic resistance mechanisms and association with serious illnesses. The patients volunteered to be part of an explorative treatment that built on previous findings from the research group that were reported in 2014 (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2014/08/11-Aug-14-Breakthrough-could-give-new-hope-to-sufferers-of-Cystic-Fibrosis.aspx).
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