Does Teixobactin protect against so-called super-pathogens?
Today there are more and more multi-resistant pathogens that have become immune to the known forms of antibiotics. Researchers have now developed a new antibiotic that appears to be able to kill so-called antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The University of Lincoln researchers found that a natural antibiotic called teixobactin could be used to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the future. The experts published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Chemical Science".
Teixobactin was discovered in soil samples in 2015
There are more and more antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the world that do not respond to treatment with the usual active ingredients. With the new research results, however, an important step on the way to the development of a new commercially usable drug could have been taken. This drug would be based on a naturally occurring antibiotic that US scientists discovered in soil samples in 2015. Such a drug could then be used in the fight against antibiotic-resistant pathogens such as MRSA and VRE.
First success in experiments on mice
Scientists at the University of Lincoln have now succeeded in developing a simplified, synthesized form of teixobactin, which has already been used to treat a bacterial infection in mice. This is the first evidence that such simplified versions of the real form can be used to treat bacterial infections. The experts developed a library of synthetic versions of teixobactin by replacing key amino acids at certain points in the structure of the antibiotic.
Simplified synthetic versions were very effective
After these simplified synthetic versions were experimentally potent against multiresistant bacteria, researchers from the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) used one of the synthetic versions to successfully treat a bacterial infection in mice. The synthesized teixobactin not only fought the infection itself, it also minimized the severity of the infection, which was not the case with the clinically used antibiotic moxifloxacin, which was used in a control study, the experts explain.
Multi-resistant pathogens could result in 10 million deaths a year
Forecasts predict that by 2050 around 10 million people will die each year from the effects of drug-resistant infections. The development of new antibiotics, which can be used as a last resort when other drugs are already ineffective, is therefore an important research area for healthcare professionals around the world.
Is Teixobactin a Pioneering New Antibiotic?
Success with these simplified versions must now be transferred from the laboratory to real cases. This would be a real quantum leap for the development of new antibiotics, Ishwar Singh of the School of Pharmacy at the University of Lincoln explains in a press release. When Teixobactin was discovered, it was considered a groundbreaking new antibiotic that kills various bacteria, including so-called super-pathogens. However, natural teixobactin was not created for human use, Singh adds. Preliminary studies, however, suggest that the modified peptide reduces bacterial burden and disease severity, increasing hope for therapeutic uses in humans. (as)