It could become a powerful weapon in the battle against antimicrobial resistance, because it kills microbes by blocking their capacity to build their cell walls, making it extremely difficult for bacteria to evolve resistance.
It would be great if the exciting results carried through to real world results similar to the hope. Medical research is full of promising initial results that fail to deliver, however. We are at great risk if some new miracle anti-biotic isn’t found. Many people are investigating potential solutions.
Lewis’s group found a way around the problem by developing a device called an iChip that cultures bacteria in their natural habitat. The device sandwiches the bugs between two permeable sheets. It is then pushed back into the ground where the microbes grow into colonies.
Working with a Massachusetts-based company, NovoBiotic, and researchers at the University of Bonn, [Kim] Lewis’s group screened 10,000 soil bacteria for antibiotics and discovered 25 new compounds. Of these, teixobactin was the most promising.
Though promising, Lewis said that years more work lie ahead before the drug could be available. Human clinical trials could begin within two years to check its safety and efficacy, but more development would follow that.
It is wonderful to read about the great work so many scientists are making in researching potential life saving drugs. Hopefully this antibiotic will save us from what will be catastrophic harm if some new antibiotic is not available soon.
Related: Search for Antibiotic Solutions Continues: Killing Sleeper Bacteria Cells (2013) – New Family of Antibacterial Agents Discovered (2009) – Potential Antibiotic Alternative to Treat Infection Without Resistance (2012)