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September 18, 2020 Friday 10:08:33 AM IST

New Antibiotic against Drug-Resistant Bacteria

International Edu News

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.