Experts analyze the effectiveness of known chemical compounds
There are more and more strains of bacteria that are resistant to various forms of antibiotics. For this reason, there is a great need for new effective antibiotics. Researchers have now found that chemical compounds that were discarded as early as the 1940s could be used to develop new antibiotics.
In their research, the University of Leeds scientists found that chemical compounds known as actinorhodins, which had been studied for a long time, could be used in the production of functional antibiotics. The doctors published the results of their study in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".
Actinorhodine could be the basis for new antibiotics
The family of chemical compounds called actinorhodins were originally classified as having poor antibiotic properties. For this reason, the compounds were no longer used to develop antibiotics. However, it has now been established that these actinorhodins could be the basis for a new antibiotic.
Old known compounds were re-examined
Because modern diseases are unfortunately becoming more and more resistant to existing drugs, the University of Leeds bioscientists and chemists are now investigating well-known compounds and using advances in science and technology to test whether the actinorhodins may have the potential to develop useful ones Have medication.
The potential should be reclassified using current research approaches
At that time, scientists did not fully differentiate the individual connections within the family when examining them. This led to a less precise assessment of the connections. This prompted the research team to select one of these chemical compounds (y-ACT) for a new evaluation of the effectiveness. Using a number of new approaches, the potential should be re-evaluated to better understand how y-ACT works against bacteria, explains study author Professor Alex O'Neill from the University of Leeds.
Y-ACT shows a strong antibacterial effect against certain pathogens
In light of the results of the current investigation, the medical experts involved are now assuming that the active ingredient can be seriously considered as the basis for a new drug to combat certain types of bacterial infections. The experts from the Infectious Diseases Society of America have coined the acronym ESKAPE for so-called multi-resistant pathogens, which pose a threat to public health. Y-ACT shows a strong antibacterial effect against two important representatives of the ESKAPE class of pathogens. These are bacteria that have developed the ability to escape the effects of existing drugs. A major challenge in combating the problem of antibiotic resistance is to develop new, effective drugs, the scientists say.
There could be more potentially effective antibiotics that have already been studied
The results of the study make it clear that potentially useful drug candidates can be discovered among the active substances that we already know about, reports Professor O'Nill. The weak efficacy previously accepted by the ACT family probably explains why this group was not evaluated further. Other potentially useful groups of antibiotics from previous investigations have also been forgotten, which should now be re-analyzed by experts using modern methods, the researcher adds.
Pentylpantothenamide is also being re-examined
Interestingly, another study by the University of Leeds focused on a compound called pentylpantothenamide, which was first studied in the 1970s. It was found at the time that the compound was able to stop the growth of E. coli bacteria, but was not able to completely kill these bacteria. This led to the fact that pentylpantothenamide was never used clinically, explain the doctors.
Vitamin B5 plays an important role in the growth of E. coli bacteria
At that time, the scientists did not know how the compound could stop the growth of bacteria, but current research has shown that the growth is driven by vitamin B5, which is used for energy conversion. Bacteria have to produce B5, and an important part of the machinery they use for it is called the PanDZ complex, the experts say. Pentylpantothenamid targets the PanDZ complex and prevents E.coli from producing vitamin B5. So the bacteria lack the means to grow.
It is important to re-examine compounds that have already been tested
The results of the latest study could now open up opportunities to develop new drugs that use pentylpantothenamide to effectively fight E. coli, the authors explain. Until recently, no new antibiotics were discovered over a period of 25 years. Current research is important as it offers a new way to look for effective antibiotics. This could reveal options that could be very useful today but were previously overlooked, the scientists say. (as)