Science

Antibiotic adapted for attack

US scientists have re-engineered a vital antibiotic to wipe out superbug. This new version of vancomycin appears to be more potent than the older drug.

With the potential to be used within five years, this fortified drug promises a new hope in the fight against superbugs, strains of bacteria which have developed resistance to antibiotic drugs.

As reported by PNAS journal and BBC News, this updated version of vancomycin greatly decreases chances of the superbugs being able to avoid attack.

It can fight bacteria in three different ways, making it significantly more powerful than its parent antibiotics.

Despite warnings that we are embarking on an era in which some infections will become impossible to treat, the Scripps Research Institute Team hope this new drug will be able to combat vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), an infection regarded by the WHO as one of the most perilous to human health.

Professor Nigel Brown of the Microbiology Society, said: “The improved drug seems indeed to promise brighter futures for science. It successfully killed VRE samples in labs and managed to keep nearly full potency after 50 rounds of exposure to the bacterium.”

Although yet to undergo testing on animals and humans, doctors may be able to use this fortified version of vancomycin without fear of resistance emerging.

13/06/2017

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