Overcoming resistance

Altering microbial enzymes can lead to more powerful drugs that are effective against bacteria resistant to traditional antibiotics

Hannah Waters
Apr 10, 2011
The evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has left researchers scrambling to develop new, stronger antibiotics. Now researchers have successfully used a method that may allow them to keep up -- manipulate the pathways used by microbes to produce the antibacterial products from which antibiotics are derived.The researchers used the technique to create a powerful new antibiotic that is highly effective against vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus bacteria in vitro and in mice, according to the linkurl:study;http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchembio.556.html published online on Sunday (April 10) in Nature Chemical Biology, and they are hopeful that it can be applied to other antibiotic systems.
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci
Image: CDC
"It seems to be very exciting -- we've found an activity against the resistance strains," said linkurl:Stefano Donadio,;http://www.ktedogen.com/stefano.html the president of the antibiotic-developing company KtedoGen and Chief Scientific Officer of NAICONS who was not involved in the research. "But it's important to realize that it's just the beginning," he added....
Staphylococcus aureusNonomuraeaEnterococcusin vitroY.C. Liu et al., "Interception of teicoplanin oxidation intermediates yields new antimicrobial scaffolds," Nature Chemical Biology, doi: 10.1038/nchembio.556, 2011.



Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?