New Antibiotic against Drug-Resistant Bacteria
A new antibiotic against drug-resistant
gram negative bacteria has been developed by researchers at Macquarie
University. The challenge in this case was to break the protective layer of
Gram-negative bacteria that makes it resistant to anti-biotics including
Pencillin, detergents and our own antimicrobial enzymes. Existing antibiotics
named polymyxins require a high dosage to kill the bacterial and it can be
toxic to kidneys even at the minimum dose. Researchers have found a solution in
the abundant peptide antibotics that are seen in a wide variety of life forms. Antimicrobial peptides can mobilise the
patient's own immune system. An antibiotic derived from marine lugworms was
tried out but in lab experiments it was seen to to destroy red blood cells.
Using the peptide as backbone and several components of the peptide removed, a
functional genomic technique was applied--transposon directed insertion
sequencing. This resulted in a broad-spectrum antibiotic that has shown to be
effective in mouse models without harming red blood cells.