A recent BBC article discussed an innovative new antibiotic that employs trickery to make its way to bacteria. When an acute infection occurs, the immune response is to create an iron-deficient environment, which causes the bacteria to increase iron intake. The new antibiotic, cefiderocol, binds to iron to gain access to the site and then fights the infection from within.
The “Trojan horse” antibiotic was developed by Shionogi Inc., and has proved to be as effective as current treatments in a trial on kidney and urinary tract infections. However once inside, the drug fights the infection just like any other antibiotic, and new classes of antibiotics are still urgently needed.