Antibiotic use of sodium deoxycholate for preventing colonization with Streptococcus pneumoniae and treating pneumococcal infection.
- Effective against antibiotic-resistant pneumococcus.
- FDA-approved for use in humans.
- Safety already demonstrated in FDA trials for subcutaneous injection to dissolve fat deposits in humans.
Pneumococcus colonize children and the elderly and can cause several different illnesses, including pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, meningitis, and bacteremia. Some pneumococcal infections are invasive, starting in one tissue and spreading to others. Notably, pneumococcal bacteria are resistant to one or more antibiotics in 30% of cases, underscoring the need for new modalities for preventing colonization with S. pneumoniae strains and for treating pneumococcal infection.
Sodium deoxycholate (DocNa) is a bile salt, produced as a metabolic byproduct of intestinal bacteria and used to emulsify fats for absorption during digestion. DocNa was recently approved by the FDA for subcutaneous injection adipolysis in humans and it is sold under the brand name Kybella by Kythera biopharmaceuticals. DocNa has also been known to specifically lyse Streptococcus pneumoniae cells for over 100 years. Emory researchers found that DocNa completely killed cultures of 55 different strains of S. pneumoniae, including multi-resistant strains. In a separate study mimicking the pneumococcal colonization of the human airways, DocNa eradicated the bacteria within only 10 minutes of exposure. Researchers proposed to use DocNa as a prophylactic agent to eradicate S. pneumoniae from the upper airways, where strains colonize humans, and/or as therapeutic agent to treat pneumococcal otitis media (inner ear infection).
- DocNa has shown potent antibacterial activity against S. pneumoniae during in vitro experiments.
- Animal experiments are underway to assess the effectiveness of DocNa to eradicate pneumococci using a mouse model of colonization.