New antibiotic discovered after 30 yrs. of research

By Caribbean Medical News Staff
It’s called Teixobactin and researchers say that it may be available in five years. The first new antibiotic to be discovered in 30 years of research, researchers say it may be able to fight infections without side effects.

Since many bacteria had become resistant to antibiotics, scientists were of the view that somehow and at some time, the time would be ripe for a new antibiotic that could potentially save lives in an age of antimicrobial resistance.

According to the team, the drug could also potentially treat Clostridium difficile, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus. The team at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts say that they have found a way to use an electronic chip to grow the microbes in the soil and then isolate their antibiotic chemical compounds, according to reports.

“Apart from the immediate implementation, there is also I think a paradigm shift in our minds because we have been operating on the basis that resistance development is inevitable and that we have to focus on introducing drugs faster than resistance….Teixobactin shows how we can adopt an alternative strategy and develop compounds to which bacteria are not resistant,” said Professor Kim Lewis, Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Centre.
Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 and several antibiotics have since been discovered but this represents a new frontier in antibiotic according to the team.

Public Health England also heralded the breakthrough. “The rise in antibiotic resistance is a threat to modern healthcare as we know it so this discovery could potentially help to bridge the ever increasing gap between infections and the medicines we have available to treat them,” said Prof Neil Woodford, Head of Public Health England’s Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections Reference Unit.

According to the World Health Organisation, antimicrobial resistance is a “serious threat to anyone of any age anywhere in the world.
According to the researchers, testing on mice has already shown that the antibiotic is effective at clearing up infections and so doing without side effects.

“Right now we can deliver a dose that cures mice and a variety of models of infection and we can deliver 10 mg per kg so it correlates well with human usage,” said Professor Lewis.

The breakthrough was heralded by scientists who said it could prove a ‘game-changer’.

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