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Potential alternative treatment for corneal infections discovered

Fight for Sight-funded research identifies alternative treatment to antibiotics

02 Nov 2019 by Emily McCormick

A researcher at the University of Nottingham has identified a potential new treatment for corneal infections that can cause sight loss.

Dr Darren Ting’s (pictured) Fight for Sight-funded research explored the use of antimicrobial peptide drugs, during which he discovered the possible alternative treatment to antibiotics.

For the study, Dr Ting created a number of new artificial peptides, demonstrating how they could kill bacteria grown in laboratory dishes effectively, and faster than antibiotics.

While the initial findings are promising, more work needs to be performed to develop the modules into drugs that can be used in the clinic. Consequently, Dr Ting is about to embark on further research that has been funded by Fight for Sight and the Medical Research Council.

It is estimated that almost two million people a year develop a sight-threatening corneal infection. They will often require antibiotic treatment in hospital to get the infection under control.

Speaking about the findings, Dr Ting said: “We hope to one day bring this compound into the clinic as an easy to apply treatment for patients with corneal infections. An attractive characteristic of this class of antimicrobials is that they are broad-spectrum, meaning if they work on bacteria, we may be able to modify them to be able to treat other types of infection in the future.”

Dr Ting’s initial research was funded by the Fight for Sight Primer Fellowship Award and performed under the supervision of Professor Harminder Dua and Dr Imran Mohammed.

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