Soil Bacteria Source of New Antibiotic
The discovery of a new antibiotic class from soil bacteria is reported online this week in Nature Microbiology. This class, called malacidins, kills several multidrug-resistant, disease-causing bacteria — including the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infection in rats.
New antibiotics are needed to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections. As most licensed antibiotics were originally extracted from microorganisms, interest has focused on looking for new drugs in diverse environmental samples.
Sean Brady and colleagues sequenced bacterial DNA extracted from over a thousand soil samples taken from across the United States, and discovered a set of genes that produce malacidins, a new family of antibiotics. Malacidins fight bacteria differently to most other drugs, by attacking a key part of the bacterial cell wall — a mechanism to which microorganisms did not develop resistance in the laboratory. The authors also used a high-throughput sequencing-based screening method that bypasses the need to grow microorganisms first (as the vast majority of bacterial species cannt be cultured in the lab) and thus can be used to quickly mine new drug candidates from diverse environmental sources.
This article has been republished from materials provided by Nature. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Culture-independent discovery of the malacidins as calcium-dependent antibiotics with activity against multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens. Bradley M. Hover, Seong-Hwan Kim, Micah Katz, Zachary Charlop-Powers, Jeremy G. Owen, Melinda A. Ternei, Jeffrey Maniko, Andreia B. Estrela, Henrik Molina, Steven Park, David S. Perlin & Sean F. Brady. Nature Microbiology (2018) Published online:12 February 2018, doi:10.1038/s41564-018-0110-1.
PhoreMost and o2h Discovery Collaborate to Progress First-in-Class Drug Discovery ProgramsNews
PhoreMost, the UK-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to drugging ‘undruggable’ disease targets, announced it has entered into a collaboration with o2h discovery (o2h), an Anglo-Indian medicinal chemistry company that has in-house capability to take drug discovery programmes to the IND filing stage.READ MORE
Simple Sugar Prevents Neurodegeneration in Lysosomal Storage DiseaseNews
New therapeutic approach may one day delay neurodegeneration typical of a disease called mucopolysaccharidoses IIIB (MPS IIIB)READ MORE
Bloodstains at Crime Scenes Can Now be Used to Determine Age of SuspectNews
A new blood test, which could be performed at a crime scene, could help determine the age of a suspect or victim within just an hour.