SCIENCE NEWS: NEW COMPOUND DEFEATS ANTIBIOTIC-RESISTANT BACTERIA
Good news! Researchers at Princeton University reported on June 3rd that they have discovered a compound, SCH-79797, that can puncture bacterial walls and destroy folate within the cells. Using a “poison arrow” mechanism, the compound is effective at killing bacteria while being immune to antibiotic resistance, which is great news for science.
Why is this good news?
The first true antibiotic was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928 – Penicillin. The effects of that discovery could not be understated as penicillin was used to treat a host of bacterial infections that otherwise would be fatal at the time. Since the discovery of penicillin we have developed over 100 different types of antibiotics to combat bad bacteria in our bodies. Unfortunately evolution is a fickle beast and bacteria evolves to resist these drugs over time. This has created problems for doctors who are fighting more resilient infections with less effective medicine. The more we use the same antibiotics, the more resistant bacteria will become to those treatments.
The SCH-79797 compound has shown 100% resistance to evolving bacterial defense methods and has proven, after a tweak (the original compound proved fatal), to cure mice infected with N. gonorrhoeae. Further testing is needed, but there is sincere optimism in the scientific community that this could open the door to a future class of antibiotics. One that doesn’t lend itself to muted effectiveness over time.
Curios how antibiotic resistance works? See below.
Story Source: Princeton University Full Story
Princeton University. “‘Poisoned arrow’ defeats antibiotic-resistant bacteria; A dual-mechanism antibiotic kills Gram-negative bacteria and avoids drug resistance.” 3 June 2020