The fight against pathogens that have become resistant due to a genetic mutation requires completely new active agents. Finding such active agents is the aim of the EU project PneumoNP, in which Fraunhofer ITEM is actively participating. The explicit task is to develop therapeutic compounds that are able to kill resistant strains of the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae. Infections with the original Klebsiella pneumoniae strains were easily treatable with several antibiotics, however, the bacterium meanwhile has developed so many resistances that even treatment with last-resort antibiotics fails.
Transportation of the active ingredient to its site of action will be ensured by coupling it to tiny particles called nanocarriers, designed to transport the active ingredient directly to the site of infection. Dextran-based nanoparticles will be used as nanocarriers, as well as liposomes loaded with different novel, antimicrobial peptides (AMP). The focus of the work performed at Fraunhofer ITEM will be on in-vitro studies aimed at enabling early selection of suitable nanocarriers and combined nanosystems.