Study unveils new class of antibiotics considered effective against numerous types of bacteria

As published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature, experts at the Wistar Institute have unveiled a new class of antibiotics capable of combatting numerous types of drug-resistant bacteria.

In recent years, attention has turned to the development of newer antibiotics to counteract the drug resistance occurring in a range of bacteria.

For the new study, researchers placed their central focal point toward a pathway known as methyl-D-erythritol phosphate (MEP), associated with the biosynthesis of isoprenoids in bacterial cells.

“Here we describe a class of IspH inhibitors and refine their potency to nanomolar levels through structure-guided analogue design,” the study says.

“After modification of these compounds into prodrugs for delivery into bacteria, we show that they kill clinical isolates of several multidrug-resistant bacteria—including those from the genera Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas, Klebsiella, Enterobacter, Vibrio, Shigella, Salmonella, Yersinia, Mycobacterium and Bacillus—yet are relatively non-toxic to mammalian cells.”

Researchers concluded that their new class of antibiotics, called IspH inhibitors, were effective enough to eliminate microbes all while being safe or non-toxic to human cells.

From the findings: “The prodrugs we describe here synergize the direct killing of bacteria with a simultaneous rapid immune response by cytotoxic γδ T cells, which may limit the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacterial populations.”

Image courtesy of Freepik
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