Plant toxins hailed as ‘new weapon’ in antibiotic warfare against bacteria | Antibiotics
Scientists have discovered a plant toxin that can use a unique method of killing bacteria that can be used to create a powerful new range of antibiotics. The possibility of developing new antimicrobials in this way has been welcomed by physicians. e Escherichia coli It now poses a dangerous threat to healthcare worldwide.
A new antibiotic, albicidin, attacks bacteria in a completely different way than existing drugs, according to a group of scientists from the UK, Germany and Poland. Papers recently published in journals natural catalysisThis suggests that new pathways may be developed to tackle bacterial diseases, they say.
“We were not able to elicit resistance to albicidin in the laboratory,” says Dmitry Guilalov of the research group based at the John Innes Center in Norwich. “That’s why we’re really excited because we think it’s very difficult for bacteria to evolve resistance to arbicidin-derived antibiotics.”
Albicidin is produced by a bacterial plant pathogen called Xanthomonas albilineans It causes a devastating disease known as sugar cane leaf burn. Pathogens use albicidin to attack plants, and decades ago it was found that albicidin was very effective at killing bacteria.
“The problem was that at the time we didn’t know exactly how albicidin attacked bacteria, so it could have caused all sorts of complications in the human body, so it couldn’t be used as the basis for new antibiotics. “Before doing that, we had to decide exactly how we were going to kill the bacteria, and that’s what we’re accomplishing now.”
Working with scientists from the Technical University of Berlin in Germany and Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, Guilaroff and his team used a series of advanced techniques to reveal how albicidin kills.
“Now that we understand the structure, we can create modifications of albicidin to improve its potency and pharmacological properties,” said Ghilarov. “This is one of the most exciting new antibiotic candidates in recent years. but very strong.”
of World Health Organization warns of antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to global health, food security and development. The indiscriminate abuse of antibiotics has led to the evolution of some strains of microbes that have acquired resistance and consequently become much more difficult to eliminate, leading to increased health care costs, longer hospital stays, and leading to increased mortality.
According to one recent study, this problem kills about 3,500 people every day. Over 1.2 million died in 2019 As a direct result of antibiotic-resistant infections.
“One of the problems is that pharmaceutical companies are not doing enough research and development of new antibiotics,” said Professor Tony Maxwell, also based at the John Innes Centre. “It used to be that there were always new compounds on the market, but that is no longer the case. Fewer and fewer large pharmaceutical companies are working on antibiotics, so there are no companies approved by Western pharmaceutical authorities. The problem is that we no longer benefit from antibiotics.
“On the one hand, nothing is better than antibiotics for treating bacterial diseases, so this study, which opens up an entirely new range of drugs based on a new understanding of how albicidin works, is good news.” It may take years to create a clinically effective version, but it does suggest that one day we may have a new weapon in our arsenal.
This point was supported by Gilarov. “For things to move forward, governments need to intervene, as they did with vaccine development. need to provide incentives Alternatively, a dedicated antibiotic development agency could be set up. “
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