UF Health researchers are developing antibiotic drug combinations that will prevent the spread of the world’s deadliest superbug, Acinetobacter baumannii, or A. baumannii. Superbugs are bacterial pathogens resistant to antibiotics.

Juergen Bulitta, associate professor of pharmaceutics in the UF College of Pharmacy, said the pathogen is commonly found in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities, and it causes high rates of disease and death in patients. A. baumannii is among the most challenging hospital-acquired pathogens in the world and on the top of the World Health Organization’s list of priority pathogens in 2017 that “pose the greatest threat to human health.”

He said the researchers have been working since 2012 to find new therapies by using dosage regimens that are already available and optimizing them based on molecular data researchers find.

Bulitta and the research team, which is made up of experts from different disciplines, are working to combat a serious human health problem.

“By performing research at UF, our students and postdocs can make a significant and tangible contribution to novel antibiotic dosing strategies,” he said. “This can save the lives of patients who have serious, life-threatening infections.”