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Coronavirus Update: New COVID-19 Antibiotic, WLBU2, Has Been Developed That Could Fight Lung Infecti

According to a report from The Dailymail, a new COVID-19 antibiotic has been developed that could potentially fight lung infections, such as ventilator-associated pneumonia, in patients who have contracted the novel coronavirus.

(Photo : Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash)

A New Antibiotic Called WLBU2 Is Developed; Experts Say It Could Fight Ventilator-Associated Lung Infections

The new antibiotic, called WLBU2, was developed by medical experts to fight "superbug" lung infections. According to the report, a study revealed that the drug could combat severe lung infections in mice as well as in human cells.

The study showed that the new medication could help those who suffer from cystic fibrosis--who are more vulnerable to lung infections--extend their lives. It could also stop secondary infections from infecting a patient's airways, which is a particular problem for critically ill patients on ventilators. The antibiotic is offering new hope in potentially decreasing coronavirus death rates.

A new antibiotic, WLBU2, has been developed that could fight ventilator-associated lung infections

According to The Dailymail, the newly developed drug is called "Engineering Cationic Antimicrobial Peptide" or "eCAP" which works by "punching into" the virus, as experts described, thereby destroying them.

(Photo : Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash)

A New Antibiotic Called WLBU2 Is Developed; Experts Say It Could Fight Ventilator-Associated Lung Infections

The results of the study showed that the synthetic version of the new antibiotic is more efficient compared to natural antimicrobial proteins which are used to form the first line of defense against deadly infections in humans.

Experts were working with an eCAP called WLBU2 and accidentally discovered a way to make it less toxic and, at the same time, more efficient.

Peter Di, the author of the study and an epidemiologist at the University of Pittsburgh, said that they were surprised and happy with the discovery.

"At first, we were skeptical and repeated the experiment - but yes, it was 20 times less toxic toward red blood cells in our lab. And when we saw similar results in mice, we were really excited," he said in the report.

The researchers administered the new antibiotic via the lung's windpipe to target the infections. The result showed that it performed better than the current last-resort antibiotics without any side effects.

However, the World Health Organisation has warned that antimicrobial resistance claims around 700,000 lives a year and could rise to 10 million by 2050.

It was explained in the report that the rising death rate occurs when antibiotics push the bacteria to rapidly mutate to fight back, making them harder to combat.

The researchers clarified that the breakthrough came by chance while looking for ways to make WLBU2 more stable for human consumption.

The drug has already been licensed for clinical tests to measure and observe its efficacy against the COVID-19. The researchers are also looking to use the drug for knee and hip replacement operations.

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