Entirely New Antibiotic Developed

Posted on May 18, 2006  Comments (4)

Potent antibiotic to target MRSA

A potent antibiotic which kills many bacteria, including MRSA, has been discovered. Scientists with Merck, isolated platensimycin from a sample of South African soil and have developed an antibiotic based on that discovery.

If the compound passes clinical trials it will become only the third entirely new antibiotic developed in the last four decades.

Details in the journal Nature reveal the antibiotic works in a completely different way to all others.

It acts to block enzymes involved in the synthesis of fatty acids, which bacteria need to construct cell membranes.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a type of bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics, including: methicillin and other more common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities who have weakened immune systems. More information on MRSA is available from the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention.