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 July 26, 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 July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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