Bacteria are rapidly developing resistance to the best drugs, leaving us on the brink of a major crisis.
When bacteria encounter dangerous factorsenvironment - such as antibiotics - only the fittest survive, which means that eventually the entire population acquires the ability to resist drugs. Particularly problematic are Gram-negative bacteria, which defend themselves with thicker cell walls and drug-rejecting molecular pumps.
Scientists involved in the new studyhave developed a new antibiotic candidate that shows great promise. The team started with an existing antibiotic that is effective against gram-positive bacteria and adapted it with a series of structural modifications to make it stronger against gram-negative strains.
Named fabimycin, the new drugthe agent worked well against more than 200 clinically isolated colonies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including a total of 54 strains of bacteria such as E. coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. In tests on mice, fabimycin was found to clear drug-resistant cases of pneumonia or urinary tract infections, lowering bacterial levels even lower than before infection.
It is important to note that fabimicin actsrelatively selective, leaving some types of harmless bacteria intact. This is better than many existing antibiotics, which are known to indiscriminately kill many beneficial bacteria in the microbiome, resulting in a number of adverse side effects.