The University of Tel-Aviv (TAU) is developing new generations of antibiotics to combat “superbugs” have become resistant to current antibiotics.
Antibiotics can work wonders, stunning common infections such as bronchitis and tonsillitis. But according to the Center for Disease Control, every year 90,000 people in the United States die from an infection by a strain resistant “superbugs” resistant bacteria to existing antibiotics. Although patients in hospital are particularly vulnerable as a result of open wounds and weakened immune systems, bacteria can infect anyone.
Dr. Micha Fridman’s Department of Chemistry, TAU is developing the next generation of antibiotics to deal with these bacteria. And the key, he says, is the bacterium itself. “We took the mechanism of bacterial resistance and was used to produce antibiotics,” explains Dr. Fridman. “It is these bacteria that we can develop a better drug.” Conducted in collaboration with Professor Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Dr. Fridman’s research were published recently in the journal ChemBioChem.
According to Dr. Fridman, some bacterial strains have enzymes that help the bacteria to inactivate antibiotics. When the enzymes encounter an antibiotic, they chemically modify, which makes the antibiotic ineffective and unable to recognize its target. Returning this powerful mechanism against the bacteria itself, the team isolated the antibiotic inactivating enzymes of bacteria, and then integrated them into drugs. With this modification, antibiotics were effective against resistant bacterial strains in general.
The idea, says Dr. Fridman was to chemically modify the antibiotic to start. Once researchers have identified how bacteria inactivate antibiotics, they managed to create a drug that could block bacterial resistance, while maintaining the integrity of the antibiotic.
Kill the bacteria, save lives
This set of new antibiotics will be a big improvement, said Dr. Fridman. When fully developed, antibiotics can be used to treat infections that are currently considered difficult or impossible to treat with existing antibiotics.
|Category: Biology||Tags: antibiotics|