Scientists Working on New Antibiotic Created From Older Drug Vancomycin

Scientists Working on New Antibiotic Older Drug Vancomycin

In the Journal of the American Chemical Society, scientists have written about how they have successfully been working on synthesizing a new antibiotic created from the older drug vancomycin. It appears to be displaying impressive strengths against bacteria resistant to vancomycin and other infection-causing microorganisms. Even though this is not going to solve the long term problems of antibiotic resistance, researchers may have bought people a little more time.

In addition, the new drug also has two separate mechanisms of action, which means that germs are unlikely to quickly attain any resistance. It is well known that resistance to antibiotics is a time bomb just waiting to explode. In the arena of worldwide health this could send the human race flying back to the dark ages of drug treatments. Therefore, the race is on for scientists to try and determine new ways in which to fight the rising threat before it becomes too late.

Since vancomycin was introduced in the late 1950’s, it has been considered a priceless tool in the archives of medicine, effective against fighting an extensive range of bacteria including the deadly “superbug” known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. However, as years passed, even resistance to vancomycin began to show up, and its effectiveness started to decrease. This caused scientists to start looking for effective substitutes.

Vancomycin acts by preventing microbial wall biosynthesis. It performs the action by clinging to the cell walls and prevents the correct assemblage and leaves the microorganisms with changed penetrability. Bacteria is able to become resilient to it with only one amino-acid substitution in the cell wall block that averts the antibiotic from being able to competently bind to them.

It was around two years ago that a research team, led by Dale Boger, attempted to fine tune vancomycin by fluctuating the cell binding pocket. Boger and his group discovered that they had found the altered version of the drug could bolt onto cell walls in both antibiotic sensitive and antibiotic resistant microorganisms. However, there were copious amounts of room for improvement, so they began experimenting by adding another chemical to the analog. This molecule was known as chlorobiphenyl or CBP and had formerly demonstrated that it could dramatically aid in the increase of vancomycin against both resistant and also sensitive strains.

In research reports, scientists discovered that the new study showed remarkable activity against a widespread variety of microorganisms, such as MRSA and vancomycin resistant enterococci. Additionally, their outcomes seem to propose that instead of acting as an overall booster of action, CBP actually enhanced its own independent action mechanism which worked in unison with vancomycin.

The scientists now are working on the road to enhancing the synthesis progression so that it can be tested in animals. They feel that if they can move to performing trails on animals, it will be yet another step in the right direction. The researchers sense that they have possibly found one success against antibiotic resistance by synthesizing the new antibiotic made from the older drug vancomycin. It is showing remarkable powers against both vancomycin resistant bacteria and other infection causing bacteria.A new antibiotic may be on the way.

By Kimberly Ruble


Vancomycin Study Report

The Scientist

The CDC Website


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