Dr. Bryan Davies is one of the leading researchers in the field of antimicrobial discovery and development. We had an insightful discussion with him on the future of anti-microbials for SIBO. Here are the highlights:
- Cancer treatment has moved on from small molecules to biologics and cell-based treatments. Why is SIBO treatment still stuck in the world of small molecules discovered decades ago with a simplified theory of killing bad microbes and promoting good microbes?
- Differences between conventional antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides. Why is there so much excitement for antimicrobial peptides?
- Antimicrobial peptides work by targeting the bacterial membrane, so it is relatively harder for bacteria to develop resistance.
- Colistin – an antibiotic from 1960’s targets the bacterial membrane just like the antimicrobial peptides. It is non-absorbable and shows low toxicity in the gut. Should it be considered as a second line of treatment for SIBO?
- Lot of antibiotics – Rifaximin / Ciprofloxacin work great in the petri dish but not in the human body. We need better in-vitro assays and animal models for SIBO.
- The future of Gut therapeutics maybe delivering highly targeted antimicrobial compounds via engineered good bacteria. This way the bacteria can get to the specific location in the intestines, pierce through the gut mucosa and biofilms, and target the specific pathogens without harming the beneficial bacteria.