Scientists at one of the world’s largest independent organisations, The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), have re-engineered a new version of the lifesaving antibiotic, vancomycin, which treats several serious bacterial infections.
With many experts warning the ‘post-antibiotic era’ is in sight, some serious infections could become untreatable. This ground-breaking research was conducted to see if they could revamp vancomycin to restore its killing ability and the results have proven to be effective, with the modified drug able to kill samples of vancomycin-resistant Enterococci in the lab.
Lead researcher Dr Dale Boger explained, “We made one change to the molecule vancomycin that overcomes what is the present resistance to vancomycin. And then we added to the molecule two small changes that built into the molecule, two additional ways in which it can kill bacteria. So, the antibiotic has three different, independent mechanisms of action, by which it kills bacteria. Even if they found a solution to one of those, the organisms would still be killed by the other two.”
It has yet to be tested in animal models and humans, but the researchers hope the drug could be ready for use within 5 years if further tests are successful.
image source: http://lucbourne.scienceblog.com/21/antibiotic-resistance-your-new-worst-enemy/