Researchers develop new ways of fighting drug-resistant superbugs
New synthetic compound and polymer could be the answer to fighting superbugs.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Researchers have discovered two new ways to fight superbugs.
Currently, the only treatment for bacterial infections is through the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics release antimicrobial polymers into the body that kill bacteria. Different antibiotics are designed to kill different bacteria in different ways, but all antibiotics must first be absorbed into the bacteria. Once the antimicrobial polymer passes through the bacterial cellular wall, the polymer can go to work to kill the bacteria.
However, bacteria over time can mutate to protect themselves against antibiotics. The most common mutation is the development of an efflux pump, which expel antimicrobial polymers that make it past the bacterial cellular wall before they’re able to cause damage. These immune bacteria have become known as superbugs.
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Texas have discovered a synthetic compound that blocks efflux pumps, making superbugs once again vulnerable.
And researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia have created a new form of antibiotic. They have developed a star-shaped peptide polymer that fights bacteria in more than one way, one of which is by ripping apart the bacterial cellular wall. This makes it difficult for superbugs to become resistant.
The polymer is also nontoxic. A person would have to take 100 times the dosage rate of the star-shaped polymer for it to become toxic.
Both methods still need to be refined and both research teams are still working towards human trials.
Currently, the only treatment for bacterial infections is through the use of antibiotics. TODAR’S TEXTBOOK OF BACTERIOLOGY
Researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia have created a new form of antibiotic that rips apart the bacterial cellular wall. UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
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