Effective treatment of bacterial infections is threatened by increasing rates of antibiotic resistance. In addition, treatment of an infection by a resistant bacterium is complex, lengthy, and a high risk of serious side effects.
Development and implementation of alternative approaches is thus urgently needed. We will investigate whether a specific group of sugars that are health-promoting for the intestine, can be used as alternative antibiotics to treat airway infections in humans. First, we test in vitro which sugars can best kill the bacteria and/or make them more sensitive to the standard antibiotics. Then we will measure the effect on bacteria ex-vivo in mini-lungs, and finally in-vivo in a mouse model. We expect treatment of respiratory infections with these sugars to be more effective and with fewer side effects than with current antibiotics.