IDENTIFYING ANTIBIOTICS WHICH ARE LESS TOXIC TO THE EAR“Identification of aminoglycoside antibiotic congeners with reduced ototoxicity: Combating aminoglycoside-induced hearing loss”.
Aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as gentamicin and kanamycin, are highly effective in treating a range of bacterial infections. However, alongside this beneficial activity, they are also highly toxic to both inner ear sensory hair cells and to proximal tubule kidney cells. Whilst aminoglycoside-induced nephrotoxicity is usually reversible, damage to the ear cells is permanent and leads to hearing loss. Due to these severe side effects these antibiotics are now only used in the developed world as a last resort, usually to treat life-threatening infections. Their use is, however, far more widespread in the developing world, hearing loss becoming an important additional burden on these already deprived populations.
This is a three-year research project at the early stages of turning research discoveries into potential new treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus. It is led by prof. Hrvoje Petkovic at ACIES BIO Ltd. in Slovenia, in cooperation with the IBGM (CSIC - University of Valladolid) at Valladolid, Spain and the Hearing Research Centre, at Tuebingen, Germany. The project is supported by Action on Hearing Loss. The project began in March 2014 and will end in February 2017.