This area of interest is tackling two main scientific issues; reducing bacterial virulence factors from one side and optimizing pharmacotherapy for patients with chronic disorders from the other side.

The contribution of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, in this subtheme, is represented through performing different activities including Master thesis entitled: Evaluation of the effect of different drug combinations on some virulence factors of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from ICU in Lebanese Hospitals. The importance of having a good knowledge about virulence factors of nosocomial pathogen has been highlighted in previous studies. Accordingly, new strategies of combination of drugs targeting P. aeruginosa are evaluated. P. aeruginosa is a causative microorganism for a wide spectrum of illnesses. Nosocomial infections include urinary tract infections, pneumonia, surgical site infections and others. The pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa depends on numerous virulence factors, comprising both the extracellular factors and the cell-associated Factors.

Another Master thesis, entitled: Effects of Some Drugs on Klebsiella pneumonia, is currently running. K. pneumoniae is commonly found on human’s skin, in intestine and is harmless in healthy individuals. It becomes dangerous when reaching the lung, the urinary tract and surgical sites especially in immunocompromised individuals. The major virulence factors associated with the pathogenesis of K. pneumoniae and leading to biofilm formation are the capsule and the fimbriae. Over the years, the susceptibility pattern of the K. pneumoniae has changed developing resistant strains that are being rapidly spread. Accordingly, the objective of this work is to develop new drug combinations that can reduce the virulence of K. pneumoniae strains.

In the future, we will work on more drug combinations and other resistant organisms that will be collected from Lebanese hospitals in order to reduce the virulence factors of such organisms reducing their pathogenesis and rendering them harmless.

To optimize pharmacotherapy for patient with chronic diseases, our team carried out a study entitled: Prunella vulgaris L. active components and their hypoglycemic and antinociceptive effects in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. In this study, acute and subchronic antidiabetic, in-vivo antioxidant and antinociceptive effects of P. vulgaris were evaluated in alloxan-induced type-1 diabetes in a mouse model. The activities were found to be related to caffeic acid that reduced blood glucose levels and improved in-vivo oxidative-stress. Future research will aim at optimizing more phytotherapy for patients with chronic diseases especially with various neuropathies.

In our multidisciplinary publication: Thiolated alginate-based multiple layer mucoadhesive films of metformin for intra-pocket local delivery: in vitro characterization and clinical assessment, a mucoadhesive multiple layer film-loading small dose of metformin hydrochloride for intrapocket application was developed. Multiple layer film was established, by double casting, followed by compression method. Combining different polymers incorporating synthesized thiolated alginate enhanced mucoadhesion and achieve controlled drug release. Optimized formulation was assessed clinically and the results suggested local application of mucoadhesive multiple layer films loaded with metformin HCl to manage moderate chronic periodontitis.

One of the most important chronic diseases is hypertension that represents a leading cause of cardiovascular mortality worldwide. Thiazide diuretics, are amongst the most widely prescribed antihypertensive agents. Treatment with thiazide diuretics has reported large inter-individual differences in blood pressure responses, assuring the great need for pharmacogenetic studies. Accordingly, our pharmacology research team studied on a new and modern approach to study these variations and relevant literature data were collected. The results provided clarity for single nucleotide polymorphisms of genes that have been extensively studied relative to thiazide diuretics.

The most important challenge for the future is to perform a pharmacogenetic study in our region to highlight the inter-individual variations for this diuretic and tailoring its administration to patients.