Re-engineered antibiotic could combat drug-resistant bacteria

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New York (IANS): US scientists have created a promising second-generation antibiotic to combat bacteria that are a common cause of respiratory and other infections, including the sexually transmitted gonorrhoea disease.

The researchers created the promising antibiotic by changing the chemical structure of an old antibiotic named spectinomycin.

Spectinomycin is a safe, but weak drug first introduced in the 1960s, the researchers noted.

“The growing problem of drug-resistant bacteria has created an urgent need for new antibiotics that use novel mechanisms to treat adults and children worldwide,” said corresponding author Richard Lee from the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In this study, the scientists built on research published in the 1980s to create new, more potent versions of spectinomycin.

In the laboratory, the new spectinomycin versions blocked the growth of strains of the pneumococcal bacteria resistant to commonly used antibiotics.

Infection by pneumococcal bacteria can result in pneumonia, infection of the blood (bacteraemia/sepsis), middle-ear infection or bacterial meningitis.

The second-generation spectinomycins demonstrated increased antibacterial activity against several other common causes of respiratory infection.

The spectinomycin versions were also more effective against bacteria responsible for most cases of Legionnaires’ disease and the sexually transmitted diseases gonorrhoea and chlamydia.

The findings appeared in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine.

Categories: Medicine, RESEARCH

Tags: , , , ,

  More from Medicine

Safety concerns linger for generic oncology drugs in developing countries


Pharmaceutical industry-sponsored meals associated with higher prescribing rates


Researchers combine drugs to develop a new treatment for human parainfluenza virus


Common painkillers are more dangerous than we think


Stronger evidence found for link between prenatal exposure to paracetamol and the risk of developing asthma


US scientists document trajectory of Zika virus for first time

Comments »

No comments yet.

Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> in your comment.