In what is being hailed as a potential breakthrough against antibiotic resistance, a team from the university’s School of Engineering of Melbourne has developed molecules that can be extracted through the cell walls of superbugs.
The peptide molecules in the form of star-polymers are effective in killing bacteria resistant to antibiotics by breaking the cell wall rather than relying on the tradition of chemically poison the organism antibiotics.
polymers which have multiple ways to kill bacteria, have also been shown to be effective to kill superbugs when tested in a single animal model (mice).
Superbugs are bacteria that can no longer be killed by the current spectrum of known antibiotics for humans.
In addition, according to the early stages of the investigation, it appears that these peptide polymers to affect healthy cells in the area, ergo adding to its potential effectiveness. What’s even more promising is that superbugs, although only tested six strains of drug-resistant bacteria, have shown resistance to these polymers.
Research, which has been published in Microbiology Nature has raised hopes the public health community and scientists who until recently were gathering against the evolution of bacteria in immunity against conventional drugs.
According to estimates, the bacteria resistant to antibiotics kill about a quarter of a million people each year worldwide, but a recent study suggests that the number could increase to about 10 million in 2050.
“We found that [the polymers] actually target the bacteria and kill it in various ways. This pretty primary or basic research is still at a level, however,” Shu Lam, 25 years old PhD student credited with the investigation said the Telegraph .
Courtesy: The Telegraph