Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Key to TB cure could lie underwater

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Summary:
Researchers are collecting actinomycete bacteria from water throughout the world in a hunt for new antibiotics.

Brian Murphy, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy, collects bacteria from water throughout the world in a hunt for new antibiotics.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago

The search for a cure for deadly infectious diseases has led Brian Murphy deep underwater.

Related Articles


Murphy, assistant professor of medicinal chemistry and pharmacognosy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is collecting actinomycete bacteria from water throughout the world in a hunt for new antibiotics.

He and Scott Franzblau, director of UIC's Institute for Tuberculosis Research, are lead investigators on a new, three-year, $1.1 million grant from the Defense Department to find compounds to fight tuberculosis, a disease that killed more than 1.4 million people worldwide in 2011.

As a killer, tuberculosis -- caused by a bacterium that most often attacks the lungs -- is second only to HIV among infectious agents, according to the World Health Organization. The bacteria lie dormant in about one-third of the population, and 8 million new cases are reported annually.

U.S. military personnel face a much higher risk of tuberculosis than American civilians, due to their frequent deployment in developing countries where infection rates are higher, Murphy said. Some units are stationed in locations where the spread of tuberculosis is a major hazard.

"Novel drug scaffolds that can reduce the spread of tuberculosis throughout the military and quickly address a tuberculosis epidemic are in serious need," he said.

Murphy has so far collected a "library" of nearly 1,000 actinomycete strains, and 1,200 samples of biochemicals they produce, from marine waters off Massachusetts, Maine, the Florida Keys and Vietnam, and from the freshwater of the Great Lakes.

From his collection, he and Franzblau have identified eight aquatic actinomyces strains that target non-replicating tuberculosis. A promising new class of compounds with drug-like potency emerged from their screenings and is the focus of the new grant, Murphy said. It was isolated from sediment collected 260 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan.

"Freshwater environments are a new frontier for drug-lead discovery," Murphy said. "Actinomycetes have the ability to produce molecules that have a high potential for use as medicines, and very little is known about these bacteria in such environments."

The UIC team will be the first to explore each of the five Great Lakes for antibiotic-producing actinomycete bacteria and will evaluate the viability of freshwater systems as a source for drug-lead discovery.

"If we can understand the capacity for these bacteria to produce new, small-molecule drug leads, it will help guide a global freshwater discovery effort," Murphy said.

Multi-drug and extensively drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, which are unaffected by first- and second-line drug regimens, are the most serious threat, Franzblau said.

"Perhaps the most problematic aspect of tuberculosis treatment is its duration," said Murphy. Franzblau said lengthy treatment is required to eliminate a persistent population of slow-growing or non-replicating tuberculosis.

UIC ranks among the nation's leading research universities and is Chicago's largest university with 27,500 students, 12,000 faculty and staff, 15 colleges and the state's major public medical center. A hallmark of the campus is the Great Cities Commitment, through which UIC faculty, students and staff engage with community, corporate, foundation and government partners in hundreds of programs to improve the quality of life in metropolitan areas around the world. For more information about UIC, please visit www.uic.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Illinois at Chicago. The original article was written by Sam Hostettler. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Illinois at Chicago. "Key to TB cure could lie underwater." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307190524.htm>.
University of Illinois at Chicago. (2013, March 7). Key to TB cure could lie underwater. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307190524.htm
University of Illinois at Chicago. "Key to TB cure could lie underwater." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307190524.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. 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


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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