Gene editing is found to be new approach to produce complex antibiotics to reprogram pathways in future medicine. This is required urgently to combat antimicrobial resistance, tackle future pandemics, and treat neglected diseases.
In a new development, a team of researchers at the University of Manchester have discovered a new technique to manipulate key assembly line enzymes in bacteria. This could pave the way for a new generation of antibiotic treatments.
The study published in Nature Communications demonstrates how CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can be used to develop new nonribosomal peptide synthetase enzymes that provide clinically important antibiotics. In fact, nonribosomal peptode synthetase enzymes are key ingredients of natural antibiotics such as penicillin.
Nonetheless, so far, manipulating complex enzymes to develop new and more effective antibiotics has been a challenge.
In fact, antimicrobial resistance infections are estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year and is predicted to rise to 10 million, suggests the UK government. This is estimated to cost the global economy US$ 100 trillion by 2050.
The antimicrobial resistance infections also threatens a number of Sustainable Development Goals of the UN with an extra 28 million people that could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2050 unless the disease is contained.
Gene editing could be used to develop improved antibiotics and possibly lead to the development of new treatments. This could help in the fight against drug-resistant pathogens and diseases in the future. The emergence of antibiotics resistant microbes is one of the leading threats that is observed today.
Meanwhile, gene editing approach is considered to be very efficient and a rapid way to create complex assembly of line enzymes that can generate new antibiotic structures with potentially improved properties.