Mohamed Seleem, an associate professor of microbiology in Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine, used novel drug repurposing methods to discover two drugs that could have significant promise as a potent antimicrobial agent for treatment of both superficial and invasive infections. Through his research and studies he has identified auranofin and ebselen as potent antimicrobial agents capable of killing intracellular Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans.
“In the United States alone more than two million individuals are stricken each year with infections caused by multidrug-resistant pathogens,” he said. “Invasive fungal infections afflict millions of patients annually, resulting in nearly one-and-a-half million deaths. The demand for antifungals is at an all-time high because current antifungal treatments aren’t working very well and can’t be administered very conveniently.”
Seleem also has plans to research two other drug repurposing applications that would be of interest to the market: acne and toenail fungus.