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Stepping It Up Against Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

 
 
Reply Wed 31 May, 2017 03:26 pm
What with the increased appearance of antiboitic resistant bacteria, researchers have taken a couple of steps ahead of these bacteria by tweaking the chemical structure of vancomycin, which has been in use since 1954.

Killer antibiotic now 25,000× more potent—and resistant to drug resistance
Quote:

The antibiotic, vancomycin, has always been a heavy hitter against odious germs; it uses one crafty maneuver that can take out even drug-resistant foes and is often used as a last resort. But, with three chemical modifications, reported this week in PNAS, the drug now has three distinct molecular moves to take out pathogens. The menacing modifications render vancomycin at least 25,000 times deadlier. And with that level of potency, dazed bacteria stumble at developing resistance when given the chance in lab experiments.

And maybe that should be the real goal in the war against drug-resistant microbes, the authors of the new study—chemists at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California—argue.

“As an alternative to championing the restricted use of antibiotics or conceding that bacteria will always outsmart us, can durable antibiotics be developed that are capable of continued or even more widespread use?” Perhaps, they write, we should be designing drugs that “overcome the forces of evolution and selection responsible for bacterial resistance, that are less prone or even impervious to resistance development, that avoid many of the common mechanisms of resistance, and that are more durable than ever before.”
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 1,218 • Replies: 7
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 May, 2017 04:06 pm
Headline in 2020:
New super bugs defy latest antibiotics.
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 May, 2017 04:28 pm
@InfraBlue,
I read me as wary.
I remember my first bacti prof: wary, circa 1960.
Later, I interned at Scripps in La Jolla. Actually our clinic building was across the alley from the research place, but I used to go to lectures there a lot.

0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2017 06:02 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
Headline in 2020:
New super bugs defy latest antibiotics.

This new drug attacks bacteria in three different ways (as if it were three antibiotics from separate families combined into one).

For bacteria to be able to survive and pass on resistance to this new drug, it will have to be able to resist all three attacks at once.

Bacteria that only have a resistance to one of the attacks won't be able to pass on and strengthen that resistance. The other two attacks will still wipe it out.

Plus there is always the hope that they will have learned their lesson and will only use this new drug sparingly.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2017 06:04 am
@oralloy,
I can read.
So far nature eventually thwarts the best we can offer.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2017 06:16 am
@edgarblythe,
So far we've foolishly injected antibiotics that should have been reserved for emergency situations into half the cattle in the country.

I propose we don't do that for this new medicine.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2017 09:15 am
@InfraBlue,
This was the operative sentence in the article for me: "Time has shown that bacteria are bad at evolving resistance to the brick attack—there’s no simple genetic mutation to get around it."

It's the fact that there is no simple genetic mutation which makes all the difference. It means that in any given population of bacteria, there is a much lower probability that a variation will happen to infer resistance.

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InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Jun, 2017 03:43 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Headline in 2020:
New super bugs defy latest antibiotics.

That's not too far way. They way it's explained, I think that these kinds of updated antibiotics will serve for quite some time. Most likely, any future super bugs would be genetically modified to purposely resist the way antibiotics work, and antibiotics will be engineered to either circumvent the way they resist antibiotics, or exploit some other weakness.
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