According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infections due to the presence of resistant microorganisms (including bacteria) have a tendency to fail conventional treatment approaches, leading to prolonged illness, increased mortality risk, and higher associated treatment costs.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than two million individuals contract antibiotic-resistant infections each year in the United States, with at least 23,000 dying as a result of resistant infection.2
With the incidence and prevalence of antibiotic resistance rising, some bacteria are becoming resistant to multiple antibiotic types or classes.2 Therefore, researchers and clinical practitioners have begun to look beyond conventional treatment approaches involving antibiotic regimens by developing new antibiotic targets, looking at other classes of drugs, and trying novel treatment approaches to address this growing epidemic.
The Relationship Between NSAIDs and Development of Antibiotic Targets
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have recently become the focus of investigation due to the need for new classes of antibiotics and their potential antibiotic properties. The effectiveness of NSAIDs as single agents has been shown to be weaker than standard antibiotics, but studies suggest that use in combination with traditional antibiotics may provide independent antibiotic effects. However, more compelling evidence suggests that the structure of NSAIDs may actually aid in the inhibition of DNA replication of some bacterial species, serving as a scaffold or target for the development of stronger classes of antibiotics, with novel mechanisms of action.3
Antibacterial Activity Tied to Statins
Research efforts also suggest a potential role of statins in the treatment of bacterial infections. While statins have traditionally played a role in risk modification associated with cardiovascular disease, new data suggests possible antibacterial activity and anti-inflammatory effects. A recent review outlined the antimicrobial properties of statins, highlighting their effects on different bacterial pathogens. The studies evaluated in the review demonstrated a reduction in infectious complications associated with statin administration. Despite this promising data, further randomized trials are needed to validate the use of statins for the treatment of bacterial infections.4