Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists Take New Approach To Fighting Antibiotic Resistance

Date:
December 22, 1999
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Chemists at Wayne State University have designed two new drugs to fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistance: an antibiotic that "self-destructs" after exposure to light and another that "self-regenerates" after encountering resistant bacteria. Both represent novel approaches for keeping infectious bacteria at bay, the researchers say.

Chemists at Wayne State University have designed two new drugs to fight the growing problem of antibiotic resistance: an antibiotic that "self-destructs" after exposure to light and another that "self-regenerates" after encountering resistant bacteria. Both represent novel approaches for keeping infectious bacteria at bay, the researchers say.

Reports on the research will appear in two separate peer-reviewed publications of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. The report on the regenerating antibiotic is in the Dec. 22 print edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society; the self-destructive antibiotic is scheduled for the Jan. 13 print issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. Both articles were published this month-Dec. 4 and 16, respectively-on the journals' web sites.

Antibiotics are among the most widely prescribed drugs worldwide. Commonly used to fight infections in both humans and animals, these drugs have had a major impact on public health. Paradoxically, their widespread use has fueled a growing health threat: antibiotic resistance.

"Once bacteria are exposed to a given antibiotic, they become resistant to its action in due time by changing their own genetic make-up to cope with the challenge," explains lead researcher Shahriar Mobashery, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Wayne State University in Detroit. "The longer the bacteria are exposed to a given antibiotic, the higher the likelihood they will eventually evolve a resistance to that antibiotic," Dr. Mobashery said.

Antibiotic resistance means that drugs that used to work against infections will no longer work effectively, putting people and animals at risk. For years, scientists have been searching for ways to resolve this growing problem. Now, they may have found a duo of answers.

"Self-destructive" Antibiotic

"A feature of antibiotics is that they are usually not metabolized in the body of the patient," explains Dr. Mobashery. "They are eliminated subsequently from the body and continue to select for resistant bacteria in the sewers and environment where they end up. The lingering presence of antibiotics has provided increased opportunities for bacteria to develop resistance to them in these environments."

Using a modified version of cephalosporin, which is structurally similar to penicillin and used to treat a wide range of diseases, Dr. Mobashery and his associates created a new type of antibiotic with built-in light sensitivity. The active portion of the drug was destroyed when exposed to light outside the body. In theory, this "self-destructive" mechanism limits the time that the antibiotic remains in the environment, reducing the forces that lead to development of resistance, the researchers say.

The researchers believe that antibiotics can be made self-destructive in other ways, such as making them sensitive to certain pH levels or other environmental conditions. The new approach has yet to be tested in humans or animals.

"Self-regenerating" Antibiotic

Dr. Mobashery and his associates also designed a new antibiotic based on a modified version of an aminoglycoside antibiotic, which is also commonly used to fight infection. Normally, resistance enzymes from disease-causing bacteria attack this antibiotic, rendering it inactive by adding an inhibitory group to its structure. The researchers' newly designed antibiotic receives the inhibitory group and releases it in a short time. Thus, the original active form of the antibiotic regenerates and remains effective at fighting bacteria.

The "self-regenerating" antibiotic fosters an environment in which the development of resistance enzymes in bacteria is no longer favored, thereby minimizing the threat, says Dr. Mobashery. "The common mechanism of resistance is not effective against this drug," he says.

Like the "self-destructive" antibiotic, the "self-regenerating" drug has yet to be tested in humans or animals. "Both these strategies represent proofs of concept, and many applications on these broad principles are possible in the future developments of anti-infective agents," Dr. Mobashery says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Chemists Take New Approach To Fighting Antibiotic Resistance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991222075530.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (1999, December 22). Chemists Take New Approach To Fighting Antibiotic Resistance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991222075530.htm
American Chemical Society. "Chemists Take New Approach To Fighting Antibiotic Resistance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991222075530.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins