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Game-changing synthetic antibiotics offer hope against superbugs

University of Liverpool, Game-changing synthetic antibiotics offer hope against superbugs

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A group of scientists at the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom) has made a significant advance in research involving so-called synthetic antibiotics.

This new class of drugs is a beacon of hope in the fight against “superbugs” that are highly resistant to conventional antibiotics.

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In 2019, upwards of 1.2 million individuals perished from drug-resistant illnesses. But all of that could change with the advent of the ‘game-changing’ antibiotic that could potentially save millions, according to a new study.

In a groundbreaking research effort, British researchers have developed synthetic versions of a molecule called theixobactin, which some bacteria use to kill others. The synthesized version of this molecule had higher efficacy and safety and allowed for a grander scale and lower cost.

British researchers have developed synthetic versions of a molecule called theixobactin. (Photo internet reproduction)
British researchers have developed synthetic versions of a molecule called theixobactin. (Photo internet reproduction)

Teixobactin was first hailed as a “game-changing” antibiotic in 2015, but the new project has developed “synthetic” classes of the drug, scientists say.

BROAD-SPECTRUM OF BACTERIA AFFECTED

The most important result of the research was the demonstration that synthetic antibiotics based on theixobactins were able to kill a broad spectrum of bacteria originating from human patients. The drugs even effectively fought the dreaded MSRA in mice.

MSRA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a bacterium in the Staphylococcus family that is highly resistant to conventional antibiotics. In tests on animal models, the synthetic antibiotics accumulated in more significant amounts than required to kill superbugs.

These data suggest that patients could be treated with just one daily dose of a synthetic antibiotic to treat life-threatening super bacterial infections in the future. In addition, synthetic theixobactins do not require a cold chain to be stored and distributed.

 

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