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Scientists developed a super antibiotic - The drug could save thousands of lives

Scientists developed a super antibiotic - The drug could save thousands of lives Discovered a new super antibiotic (photo:

Researchers from Germany and the United States have developed a next-generation antibiotic that kills superbugs and could revolutionize the fight against the most resilient threats to human health.

How scientists developed the antibiotic

In the development of this drug, scientists utilized a device known as the iChip. As indicated in the research published in Cell, this device allows the cultivation of bacteria that were previously considered "bacterial dark matter," as they could not be artificially grown in a laboratory. Nearly 99% of known bacterial species fall into this category.

The device, developed by microbiologist Kim Lewis, aided scientists in discovering clovibactin - an antibiotic produced by soil microbes found in North Carolina, known as Eletheria terrae. These bacteria produce a substance that is toxic to other soil microbes, helping them compete for territory and resources.

What is the benefit of this drug

The main advantage of the new antibiotic is that it is entirely new, and all types of bacteria have never encountered it before.

"Since clovibactin was isolated from bacteria that were previously impossible to cultivate, pathogenic bacteria have never seen such an antibiotic and have not had the chance to develop resistance to it," said one of the co-authors of the study, Markus Weinhardt, a research scientist at the Department of Chemistry at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Researchers began studying the new drug as soon as it was discovered. They found that its mechanism of action differs from the mechanism of all known antibiotics.

It creates a cell around three different precursor molecules that bacterial invaders use to build their cell walls. This is why the drug received its name, "clovibactin." "Clovi" is a Greek word meaning cell.

Some modern antibiotics can also break down the bacterial cell wall using specific compounds known as pyrophosphates. However, the new drugs have a unique property - they block these molecules.

"Clovibactin envelops pyrophosphates like a tight glove, like a cell surrounding its target. Since clovibactin only binds to the invariant, conserved part of its targets, it will be much more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance to it. In fact, in our research, we did not observe any resistance to clovibactin in the test subjects," emphasizes Weinhardt.

Bacteria end their existence by committing suicide

When this antibiotic attaches to harmful bacteria, it releases threads that further bind and destroy the microbes. It also forces the bacteria to release enzymes known as autolysins. These enzymes help the bacteria end their own lives by dissolving cell walls.

In studies conducted on mice, clovibactin proved effective against a wide range of pathogens and was particularly successful against gram-positive bacteria, including well-known hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA, staphylococcus, streptococcus, and even tuberculosis-causing bacteria.

Currently, the research team is exploring how to harness the benefits of this drug and preparing it for clinical trials. It will take some time for this new antibiotic to become available as a treatment for humans, as it needs to go through a lengthy process, from clinical trials to approval.

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