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According to Breaking Science News
An old antibiotic called octapeptin could help develop new drugs against extensively drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria.
“Our study was prompted by the urgent need for new drugs to counter widespread resistance to last-resort treatments,” said Professor Matthew Cooper, a researcher at the University of Queensland.
“Octapeptins were discovered in the late 1970s but were not selected for development at the time, as there was an abundance of new antibiotics with thousands of people working in antibiotic research and development.”
“Given the very few researchers left in this field now, and the sparse pipeline for new antibiotics, we’ve used modern drug discovery procedures to re-evaluate its effectiveness against superbugs.”
Professor Cooper and co-authors synthesized octapeptin and increased its effectiveness against extensively drug-resistant bacteria.
They then evaluated the drug using a mouse bacteremia model with a clinical isolate of Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
“There were no new classes of antibiotics available for Gram-negative bacteria, with increasing incidence of extensive drug resistance around the world,” said Professor Cooper, who is the senior author of the study, published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology.
“These bacteria are harder to kill as disease organisms, because they have an extra membrane to penetrate that is often hidden by a capsule or slime layer which acts to camouflage them from drugs and our immune system.”
“The emergence of resistance to meropenem, and now colistin, the antibiotic of last resort, means multi-drug and extensively drug-resistant bacteria are now a reality confronting clinicians.”
“Octapeptin showed superior antimicrobial activity to colistin against extensively resistant Gram-negative bacteria in early pre-clinical testing,” Professor Cooper said.
“In addition, octapeptin was shown to be potentially less toxic to the kidneys than colistin.”
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