Is This New Antibiotic the Answer to the Growing ‘Superbugs’ Concern?

Is This New Antibiotic the Answer to the Growing ‘Superbugs’ Concern?

Now more than ever in human history, infections are becoming highly resistant to the drugs that were once effective in combating them.

These ‘superbugs’ are a growing worldwide problem. Experts estimate that 10 million people will die each year to antibiotic resistance infections by 2050 if nothing changes, or a solution isn’t found.

Some pharmaceutical companies are working towards developing new antibiotics in response to this doomsday theory. And the scientists from Rutgers University-New Brunswick have recently reported a new finding that could help create the antibiotics we’ll need in the future.

In the journal Cell, the researchers say they’ve found a new antibiotic – pseudouridimycin – that seems effective in animal models. The finding came from a microbe, which was found in Italian soil as a part of an initiative to seek out new drug compounds.

After the discovery, the researchers went on to test the antibiotic. They documented its strength against drug-resistant bacteria in test tubes, and appeared to fight infections in mice models. This antibiotic targets bacterium differently than similar drugs on the market, making it more robust against bacteria developing resistances to it.

Related: Harvard Scientists Release Time-lapse Video of Evolving Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

“I think pharma made a mistake in leaving this space,” says study author Richard H. Ebright, Board of Governors, Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers-New Brunswick.

Ebright also mentioned his team will spend another year – maybe three – to make this antibiotic even more successful. “We can make small tweaks to the chemical structure that would make it a bit more potent,” says Ebright.

And if this new antibiotic makes it to market, it would be one of the first new antibiotic drugs made available in more than a decade.

Photo credit: GreenVector/Bigstock

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