Silver also proved useful for two types of stubborn infections that usually require repeated rounds of antibiotic treatment and multiple visits to the clinic: dormant bacteria that lie low during antibiotic treatment and rebound to cause recurrent infections, and microbial slime layers called biofilms that coat catheters and prosthetic joints.
“The results suggest that silver could be incredibly valuable as an adjunct to existing antibiotic treatments,” said Jim Collins, Ph.D., a pioneer of synthetic biology and Core Faculty member at the Wyss Institute, who is also the William F. Warren Distinguished Professor at Boston University, where he leads the Center of Synthetic Biology. A Shot in the Arm for Old Antibiotics
In one paper, the team details 497 such connections, only a handful of which had been previously recognized by scientists. Disrupting these connections may interfere with HIV’s lifecycle, and the existence of so many new connections suggests there may be several novel ways to target the virus.
“Have we identified new drug targets?” said Nevan Krogan, PhD, who led the research. “I believe we have.” Pathogenic Landscape of HIV: Hundreds of Connections Between Viral and Human Proteins Identified in Work That May Reveal New Drug Targets