Activated Mesenchymal Stem Cells Interact with Antibiotics and Host Innate Immune Responses to Control Chronic Bacterial Infections

Activated Mesenchymal Stem Cells Interact with Antibiotics and Host Innate Immune Responses to Control Chronic Bacterial Infections

This is a very well-designed study just out of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine.  As I am sure you are well aware, the medical community is in a war with “Superbugs”.  There are many strains of pathogenic bacteria that our patients battle with and we clinicians have little to offer as these bacteria have mutated into forms that are resistant to many, if not all, available antibiotics.  Adult stem cell therapy may bring to the table a weapon we have not had before.  That’s why the results of this study are so very encouraging.

Researchers at CSU studied the effects of repeated IV infusions of adult stem cells into dogs and mice that were suffering from very resistant bacterial infections.  The findings of this study indicate that systemic administration of activated adult stem cells when combined with conventional antibiotic therapy, may offer a very successful solution to the problem of chronic, drug-resistant infections. There was a strong positive interaction between these stem cells and conventional antibiotics.  They worked together and proved more effective than either treatment alone.

Previous studies have demonstrated the ability of stem cells to fight infections by releasing proteins, called peptides.  In this study, it was observed that white blood cells not only migrated to the site of infection in greater numbers but at a faster pace and were actually activated to destroy these bacteria more aggressively, thus assisting the antibiotics.   Not only do stem cells help fight bacterial infection, they speed wound healing, decrease unnecessary scar tissue formation.

As the battle against “Superbugs” rages, the need for non-antibiotic solutions to conquer these infections grows.  The use of activated adult stem cells may represent a new solution for patients with few other viable options.  This news is welcome indeed, a real potential life saver.

PMCID: PMC5575141

Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 9575.

Published online 2017 Aug 29. doi:  10.1038/s41598-017-08311-4