Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

New Antibiotic Class Targets Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

A new kind of antibiotic has been developed that could limit multidrug resistance by targeting and disrupting key elements in bacterial cells.

“The way most antibiotics stop key functions in bacteria is that they bind to the surface of an essential protein so that it is unable to perform its normal function,” said Prof Yaoqi Zhou of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, who is a corresponding author of the research paper published in The FASEB Journal (https://goo.gl/S6b78p). “Our technique with this new anti­biotic approach is different. Instead of binding to the surface of the protein, we disrupt the structure of the protein, which stops it functioning.”

Zhou said this new approach is less susceptible to antibiotic resistance. “Indeed, while we saw 500-fold resistance develop to a commonly used antibiotic over 30 days, there was no resistance to our peptide antibiotic,” he said.

This new antibiotic peptide is also “narrow spectrum”, meaning it is highly specific in its targeting and only kills the disease-causing bacteria. Much of the bacteria in our bodies are good for us and this new approach will leave these “normal flora” unaffected.

“Using a peptide derived from the Helix 3 segment of the methionine aminopeptidase of Escherichia coli, we tested it on E. coli...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.