Study says U.S. advancing technology to fight bioterror

Since the 2001 anthrax attacks, a sweeping overview of scientific research on the available medical technology to combat the anthrax threat has revealed, the United States has fostered a new generation of vaccines, antibiotics and other medications to protect against a bioterror event.

Dimitrios Bouzianas writers in the article, which appears in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, that there are several existing antibiotics available to combat an anthrax infection. With the emergence of artificially engineered B. anthracis strains that are resistant to multiple antibiotics, Bouzianas writers, researchers have begun pursuing additional therapeutic options.

Some of the new alternatives include small antibodies and molecules to fight the toxins secreted by the lethal bacteria. Additionally, adjunctive value to antibiotic therapy may be provided by passive immunization using a polyclonal or a high-affinity monoclonal antibody.

Bouzianas writes that the most pressing need for today's drug arsenal is a drug that can circulate in the blood stream to fight anthrax when antibiotic treatment begins after a person has been infected.

According to the article, several new anthrax treatments are currently in various stages of development, including a new genre of anthrax vaccines, including a self-administered inhalable vaccine, that are more effective and require fewer doses than current vaccines.