January 8, 2015

MAYBE TODD WELBORN WAS ON TO SOMETHING?:

New Antibiotic Stirs Hope Against Resistant Bacteria (DENISE GRADY, JAN. 7, 2015, NY Times)

An unusual method for producing antibiotics may help solve an urgent global problem: the rise in infections that resist treatment with commonly used drugs, and the lack of new antibiotics to replace ones that no longer work.

The method, which extracts drugs from bacteria that live in dirt, has yielded a powerful new antibiotic, researchers reported in the journal Nature on Wednesday. The new drug, teixobactin, was tested in mice and easily cured severe infections, with no side effects.

Better still, the researchers said, the drug works in a way that makes it very unlikely that bacteria will become resistant to it. And the method developed to produce the drug has the potential to unlock a trove of natural compounds to fight infections and cancer -- molecules that were previously beyond scientists' reach because the microbes that produce them could not be grown in the laboratory. [...]

Dr. David A. Relman, a professor of medicine at Stanford, said by email, "It illustrates the amazing wealth and diversity of as-yet-unrecognized, potent, biologically active compounds made by the microbial world -- some of which may have real clinical value." He added, "We've been blind to the vast majority of them because of the biased and insensitive methods we use to discover drugs."

Posted by at January 8, 2015 3:43 PM
  

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