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The innovation of super antibiotic

The real problem nowadays is that bacteria have become immune to antibiotics. This is due to the fact that we receive antibiotics with food (for example, the meat of industrial production), due to the mutation of bacteria and also the appearance of new infections that are resistant to modern medicines. At the same time, a new series of antibiotics was last time invented back in 1987.

Now scientists have discovered a completely new class of antibiotics, which consists of 25 antimicrobial components. It is important that diseases cannot adapt to it and develop resistance. An international group of microbiologists was able to find a new source of antibiotics. They abandoned bacteria that were easily grown in the laboratory and learned to cultivate rare members of the underground microflora using an iChip device that allows them to grow cells directly in the natural conditions of the soil.

Especially effective against such dangerous diseases as tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus is “teixobactin”. Indeed, in vitro tests have shown that neither Staphylococcus aureus or tuberculous mycobacterium under the influence of teixobactin could form a single bacterium resistant to it.

What is the reason for his superpower? A new antibiotic spoils the cell wall of microbes, but its specific target is not at all the enzyme that is responsible for one or another stage of its assembly, and not the peptide that compose it. Teixobactin binds to the precursors of peptidoglycan and teichoic acid, which build the cell wall. The antibiotic interacts with a very conservative area in polymer structures. It is so conservative that no bacteria have been able to find any modifications in it.

Usually, if a medicament enters a structural protein or protein-enzyme, the microbes use mutations that alter the structure of the protein so much that it continues to do its job but becomes insensitive to the antibiotic. However, in this case, the substance is aimed against extremely important molecular complexes that do not tolerate any mutations. In other words, there is no way to change the enzymes that are responsible for this area of the cell wall so that it (a piece of polymer) becomes invisible to the antibiotic.

A similar mechanism of action can be found in vancomycin, but it binds to the peptide component of the cell wall, which can be changed without harming the cell. What did the bacteria: for almost 30 years we have been dealing with vancomycin-resistant microbes that have mutated the menionned peptide.

The bacterium itself, which produces teixobactin, is designed in such a way that it does not need to defend against its own antibiotic, there are no targets in its cell wall. Most likely, there are no ready-made genes against teixobactin in nature, and it is simply impossible to acquire resistance to it due to the horizontal transfer of the desired gene from one bacterium to another. It is possible that the resistance to teixobactin will still appear, but it will take much longer time than usual.