Tags: teixobactin | super | bug | killer | dirt

Teixobactin, a New Super Bug Killer, Is Made From Dirt

By    |   Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 08:35 AM

Teixobactin, a new antibiotic made from dirt, has been found by Northeastern University researchers to kill super bugs previously resistant to other treatments, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Northeastern professor Kim Lewis said in a university news release that the discovery could eliminate pathogens without encountering any detectable resistance, leading to new ways to treat infections like tuberculosis.

"Now, we can start changing our thinking about strate­gies for antibi­otic dis­covery," said Lewis. "So far, the strategy has been based on devel­oping new antibi­otics faster than the pathogens acquire resis­tance. Teixobactin presents a new oppor­tu­nity to develop com­pounds that are essen­tially free of resistance – a more intel­li­gent approach."

Lewis and fellow North­eastern biology pro­fessor Slava Epstein co​​-authored the research with professors from the Uni­ver­sity of Bonn in Ger­many, Novo­Bi­otic Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals in Cam­bridge, Mass­a­chu­setts, and Selcia Lim­ited in the United Kingdom, according to Northeastern University.

Teixobactin was dis­cov­ered during a rou­tine screening for antimi­cro­bial mate­rial in soil microor­gan­isms, said Lewis.

"Our impres­sion is that nature pro­duced a com­pound that evolved to be free of resis­tance," he said. "This chal­lenges the dogma that we've oper­ated under that bac­teria will always develop resis­tance. Well, maybe not in this case."

Rachel Feltman of the Washington Post reported that Teixobactin beat MRSA and drug-resistant tuberculosis in cell cultures and in mice.

"And, importantly, it did so without killing the mice," Feltman wrote. "That was actually a concern: The drug performed so well in cell cultures that the researchers assumed it would blindly kill mammalian cells along with bacteria. But the mice, who were infected with MRSA and given pneumonia, didn't die or have notable side effects."

Feltman said, though, that antibiotics are not the cash cow for drug companies other medicines are, so new discoveries that reach the marketplace don't come often.

"The world needs new antibiotics, and several new classes of them – distinguished by unique chemistry and new methods of action against the microbes they fight – are in the research pipeline," Feltman wrote. "If Teixobactin makes it to the market, it could be the first new class of antibiotic in decades."

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Teixobactin, a new antibiotic made from dirt, has been found by Northeastern University researchers to kill super bugs previously resistant to other treatments, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.
teixobactin, super, bug, killer, dirt
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2015-35-08
Thursday, 08 Jan 2015 08:35 AM
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