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Friday, January 9, 2015

Teixobactin - A new 'anti-resistance' antibiotic which is a breakthrough in decades discovered.

Contributed by: Dr. Akilesh Ramasamy & Dr. Tamhankar

drug resistant microbesFor decades there has been a stagnation in the antibiotic discovery. As said earlier in our blog, scientists started looking into the depths of the ocean, and in the soil for newer antibiotics. A major hurdle in the development of antibiotics is the source. Most antibiotics are developed from culturable microbes. Interestingly, about 99% of the environmental bacteria are not culturable. The discoveres of the new antibiotic say that they developed several methods to grow these uncultured organisms bu cultivation in situ or by using specific growth factors. In the process, they discovered a new antibiotic that they named teixobactin.

The mechanism of action of the antibiotic makes it unique and resistant to development of resistance.

In the abstract of the article published in Nature, the authors Losee L. Ling et al have mentioned:
Teixobactin inhibits cell wall synthesis by binding to a highly conserved motif of lipid II (precursor of peptidoglycan) and lipid III (precursor of cell wall teichoic acid). We did not obtain any mutants of Staphylococcus aureus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to teixobactin. The properties of this compound suggest a path towards developing antibiotics that are likely to avoid development of resistance.
Nature's Maran Turner interviews Kim Lewis about the discovery in this podcast published by Nature. Podcast Link.

1. A new antibiotic kills pathogens without detectable resistance
2. Teixobactin and iChip
3. Interview of Nature with Kim Lewis about the discovery