Antibiotics are generally used to kill infections caused by bacteria or any other microorganism. However, many bacteria became resistant to certain antibiotics due to the capacity of carrying several resistance genes. As a result, these drug-resistant bacteria are responsible for deaths over 2 million people annually.
Chemistry researchers from University of Colorado, Boulder, are now trying to explore a new horizon to fight drug resistance. They are carrying out experiments on synthesizing and optimizing a naturally-occurring antibiotics compound. These resultant antibiotics are expected to fight against drug-resistant infections like Staphylococcus aureus, among others
Invention of New Catalyst Picks up Pace to Curtail Bacterial Growth
Previously, researchers have identified thiopeptides that showed some effectiveness against certain bacterial species. However, their structural diversity made it difficult for therapeutic use and also synthesizing molecules on a large scale basis. Maciej Walczak, assistant professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Chemistry, is re-evaluating the structural similarities of those thiopeptides with the current superbugs in order to invent a more effective catalyst.
Currently, the researchers have found out a new catalyst, which triggers certain reactions to facilitate thiopeptides synthesis. This reaction forms the essential by-product that is expected to reduce bacterial growth. The experiment was carried out on two new broadly representative antibiotics, namely thiocillin l and micrococcin P1. The result was scalable, efficient, and no harmful by-products were produced during the reaction.
Siddhartha Akasapu, Aaron Hinds and Wyatt Powell, postdoctoral researchers from the National Science Foundation are planning to shed more light on the study. They are attempting to ration parts of the thiopeptide molecules to optimize their properties. They are aiming at applying the molecules to other classes of bacteria. Researchers also concluded that the synthesized antibiotic compounds need to go through more clinical trials before hitting the market.