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Fighting pulmonary infections

Research on bacterial pulmonary infections

The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting the Institut Pasteur in Paris in its research on bacterial pulmonary infections. The aim of this research is to study the effect of a type of proteins – antimicrobial peptides – on the bacteria responsible for respiratory infections.

Bacterial antibiotic resistance

The bacteria responsible for pulmonary infections are increasingly resistant to antibiotics. To find new solutions, scientists from Institut Pasteur are working with Cochin hospital, conducting research on new molecules capable of combating these bacteria. The results obtained are of particular interest to patients suffering from cystic fibrosis, who are most vulnerable to respiratory infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Institut Pasteur

Antimicrobial Peptides, an alternative to antibiotics

Antimicrobial Peptides (AMP) are proteins of the innate immune system of living organisms. They could constitute a therapeutic alternative to antibiotics, in particular for patients with cystic fibrosis.

Two families of AMP have been identified for their antibacterial activity against lung bacteria in humans. The Institut Pasteur in Paris’ research project consists of specifically studying the action of these AMP on the bacteria responsible for pneumonia and infections contracted in hospitals. In particular, the Institut Pasteur team is studying the possible role of certain AMP against strains of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium that are multi-resistant to antibiotics. Thus, the team has established that an Oyster-extracted AMP is very effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in patients with cystic fibrosis. This AMP is also very stable in a saline environment, an essential property, since the airways of these patients are characterized by high salinity.

Pr Touqui, in charge of the research. © F.Gardy 

The contribution of the Air Liquide Foundation

The Air Liquide Foundation is donating 104,000 € for the acquisition of the equipment required for the research project, namely a device for the exact characterization of the genes expressed, as well as consumables and reagents for cell and bacteria cultures.