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New Antibiotic Found That Can Kill Bacteria Without Resistance

Dorathy Gass

A research study has recently revealed a new antibiotic that can fight high-level infections, without resistance. Known as teixobactin, scientists have successfully tested the antibiotic on mice, and are optimistic that this may be a new way to treat drug-resistant infections caused by the superbug Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), and may help battle tuberculosis as well.

“The discovery of this novel compound challenges long-held scientific beliefs and holds great promise for treating an array of menacing infections,” said Kim Lewis, a professor at Northeastern University in the United States and co-founder of the NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals, which has patented teixobactin.

A bacterium that causes serious infections in different parts of the body, MRSA is resistant to some commonly used antibiotics, as such, multiple drugs are often used, where individuals can experience negative side effects.While the antibiotic has yet to be tested on humans, teixobactin kills bacteria by focusing on a break down their cell walls, in multiple locations. This is especially vital in a day and age where many multi-drug-resistant infections have emerged, and drug companies have cut their research and development into newer antibiotics. In addition, The World Health Organization alerted everyone last year that if something was not done to face drug-resistant infections; society was at risk of experiencing a post-antibiotic era, where even basic healthcare needs would create a high-level risk of exposing people to serious infections.

As such, Lewis and his NovoBiotic team began looking into this issue, by researching new sources of antibiotics. They created a process of naturally growing uncultured bacteria, using a small device called an iChip, which helps to target single cells. As a result, NovoBiotic has gathered 50,000 strains of uncultured bacteria, and found 25 new antibiotics; with teixobactin being the most recent, and interesting revelation within the project.

“The discovery of a potential new class of antibiotics is good news,” said Richard Seabrook of Britain’s Wellcome Trust medical charity. “Screening previously unculturable soil bacteria is a new twist in the search … and it is encouraging to see this approach yielding results. However, we will not know whether teixobactin will be effective in humans until this research is taken … to clinical trials.”

Scientists not involved in the study are encouraged by the results, but note that human testing of teixobactin is an underlying factor in the new antibiotic’s success. The NovoBiotic team anticipates it will take approximately two years before they begin testing the drug on humans.

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