Cannabis News: Australian Study Finds That Cannabidiol Destroys Pathogens That Causes Gonorrhea, Meningitis And Legionnaires Disease
: A new research led by scientist from the University of Queensland has found that synthetic cannabidiol, better known as CBD is able to kill bacteria that cause gonorrhea, meningitis and legionnaires disease.
The study findings could lead to the first new class of antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years.
At present antimicrobial resistance threatens the viability of modern medicine, which is largely dependent on the successful prevention and treatment of bacterial infections.
Unfortunately, there are few new therapeutics in the clinical pipeline, particularly for Gram-negative bacteria.
The study team presented a detailed evaluation of the antimicrobial activity of cannabidiol, the main non-psychoactive component of cannabis
. The team confirm previous reports about the possibility to use cannabidiol to inhibit gram-positive bacteria activity and expand the breadth of pathogens tested, including highly resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Clostridioides difficile.
The study findings demonstrated that cannabidiol has excellent activity against biofilms, little propensity to induce resistance, and topical in vivo efficacy.
Multiple mode-of-action studies point to membrane disruption as cannabidiol’s primary mechanism. More importantly, the study team now reports for the first time that cannabidiol can selectively kill a subset of Gram-negative bacteria that includes the ‘urgent threat’ pathogen Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Structure-activity relationship studies demonstrate the potential to advance cannabidiol analogs as a much-needed new class of antibiotics.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: Communications Biology. https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-020-01530-y
Associate Professor Dr Mark Blaskovich from the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience's said CBD which is the main nonpsychoactive component of cannabis can penetrate and kill a wide range of bacteria including Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which causes gonorrhea.
Dr Blaskovich told Thailand Medical News, “This is the first time CBD has been shown to kill some types of Gram-negative bacteria. These bacteria have an extra outer membrane, an additional line of defence that makes it harder for antibiotics to penetrate."
Not only in Australia but also in many parts of the world, gonorrhea is the second most common sexually-transmitted infection and there is no longer a single reliable antibiotic to treat it because the bacteria is particularly good at developing resistance.
This new research also showed that CBD was widely effective against a much larger number of Gram-positive bacteria than previously known, including antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) or 'golden staph'.
The study team stressed that cannabidiol was particularly good at breaking down biof
ilms ie the slimy build-up of bacteria, such as dental plaque on the surface of teeth which help bacteria such as MRSA survive antibiotic treatments.
The study team at the Centre for Superbug Solutions mimicked a two-week patient treatment in laboratory models to see how fast the bacteria mutated to try to outwit CBD's killing power.
Dr Blaskovich added,"Cannabidiol showed a low tendency to cause resistance in bacteria even when we sped up potential development by increasing concentrations of the antibiotic during 'treatment'."
He further added, "We think that cannabidiol kills bacteria by bursting their outer cell membranes, but we don't know yet exactly how it does that, and need to do further research.”
The study team also discovered that chemical analogs that are created by slightly changing CBD's molecular structure were also active against the bacteria.
Dr Blaskovich said, "This is particularly exciting because there have been no new molecular classes of antibiotics for Gram-negative infections discovered and approved since the 1960s, and we can now consider designing new analogs of CBD within improved properties."
The study team said the research showed vast potential for the development of effective treatments to fight the growing global threat of antibiotic resistance.
Various medical professionals congratulated the study team for producing this significant body of research as the published data clearly establishes the potential of synthetic cannabinoids as antimicrobials. The new protocol could reach more patients in the near future. This is a major breakthrough that the world needs now.
The study team also stressed that formulation expertise was also great factor that led to the discovery as how cannabidiol can be delivered makes a huge difference in its effectiveness at killing bacteria.
The study team has developed a topical CBD formulation for use in clinical trials for decolonization of MRSA before surgery.
Dr Blaskovich said, "Those Phase 2a clinical results are expected early this year and we hope that this will pave the way forward for treatments for gonorrhea, meningitis and legionnaires disease.”
He added, "Now we have established that cannabidiol is effective against these Gram-negative bacteria, we are looking at its mode of action, improving its activity and finding other similar molecules to open up the way for a new class of antibiotics."
With a sudden surge in antibiotic resistant gonorrhea materializing in countries like the United States and also the United Kingdom, cannabidiol might provide a relief to many soon.
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