Signup to receive email updates
- Value of bull to commercial herd exceeds ‘relative’ value
- Anaplasmosis in southern IL - need beef producers help
- It is an interesting time to produce beef
- USDA revises Angus certification requirements
- USDA forecasts 2.3% growth in 2018 beef production
- Ammonia and major global ag areas
- GAO urges more oversight of antibiotic use in food animals
- November 2017 (2)
- June 2017 (2)
- May 2017 (2)
- April 2017 (4)
- March 2017 (3)
- February 2017 (3)
- January 2017 (3)
- December 2016 (2)
- November 2016 (5)
- September 2016 (6)
- August 2016 (2)
- July 2016 (3)
- June 2016 (3)
- May 2016 (5)
- March 2016 (3)
- February 2016 (1)
- December 2015 (5)
- September 2015 (2)
- August 2015 (3)
- July 2015 (2)
- June 2015 (3)
- May 2015 (6)
- April 2015 (2)
- February 2015 (3)
- January 2015 (5)
- November 2014 (2)
- October 2014 (6)
- September 2014 (4)
- August 2014 (6)
- July 2014 (2)
- June 2014 (2)
- May 2014 (3)
- April 2014 (2)
- February 2014 (3)
- January 2014 (4)
- December 2013 (1)
- May 2013 (1)
- April 2013 (3)
- March 2013 (1)
120 Total Posts
follow our RSS feed
Monday, February 9, 2015
For years, pathogens' resistance to antibiotics has put them one step ahead of researchers, which is causing a public health crisis, according to university distinguished professor Kim Lewis at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.
However, in new research, Lewis and his colleagues present a newly discovered antibiotic that eliminates pathogens without encountering any detectable resistance — a finding that challenges long-held scientific beliefs and holds great promise for treating chronic infections like tuberculosis and those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
The research was published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
The Northeastern researchers' pioneering work to develop a novel method for growing uncultured bacteria led to the discovery of the antibiotic, called teixobactin, and Lewis' lab played a key role in analyzing and testing the compound for resistance from pathogens. Lewis, who is the paper's lead author, said this marks the first discovery of an antibiotic to which resistance by mutations of pathogens have not been identified.
Lewis and Northeastern biology professor Slava Epstein co-authored the paper with colleagues from the University of Bonn in Germany, NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, Mass., and Selcia Ltd. in the U.K.
The research team said teixobactin's discovery presents a promising new opportunity to treat chronic infections caused by MSRA that are highly resistant to antibiotics, as well as tuberculosis, which involves a combination of therapies with negative side effects.
The screening of soil microorganisms has produced most antibiotics, but only 1% of them will grow in the lab, and this limited resource was overmined in the 1960s, Lewis explained. He and Epstein spent years seeking to address this problem by tapping into a new source of antibiotics beyond those created by synthetic means: uncultured bacteria, which make up 99% of all species in external environments. They developed a novel method for growing uncultured bacteria in their natural environment, which led to the founding of NovoBiotic. Their approach involves the iChip, a miniature device Epstein's team created that can isolate and help grow single cells in their natural environment and thereby provides researchers with much improved access to uncultured bacteria.
NovoBiotic has since assembled about 50,000 strains of uncultured bacteria and discovered 25 new antibiotics, of which teixobactin is the latest and most interesting, Lewis said.
The antibiotic was discovered during a routine screening for antimicrobial material using this method. Lewis then tested the compound for resistance development and did not find mutant MSRA or Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to teixobactin, which was found to block several different targets in the cell wall synthesis pathway.
"Our impression is that nature produced a compound that evolved to be free of resistance," Lewis said. "This challenges the dogma that we've operated under that bacteria will always develop resistance. Well, maybe not in this case."
Gerard Wright, a professor in the department of biochemistry and biomedical sciences at McMaster University and who was not involved in this research, examined the team's work in a separate article for Nature published in concert with the new research paper.
In his article, Wright noted that while it remains to be seen whether other mechanisms for resistance against teixobactin exist in the environment, the team's work could lead to identifying "other 'resistance-light' antibiotics."
"(The researchers') work offers hope that innovation and creativity can combine to solve the antibiotics crisis," Wright wrote.
Going forward, the research team hopes to develop teixobactin into a drug. Feedstuffs