New Antibiotic to Combat Superbugs
One of the greatest challenges that medicine faces ever since the advent of the use of antibiotics is so-called superbugs. These are strains of bacteria that are very resistant to the common antibiotics to the point that they just don’t respond to it, and are hence cannot be defeated.
Fortunately, this trend appears to have come to a halt, thanks to recent research. That's because a team of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, has successfully developed a new drug by re-engineering the old Vancomycin drug, which is famed for being effective in combating the Enterococci bacteria.
The modification of the Vancomycin drug intensifies its power by up to 1,000 times. It also grants the drug the ability to combat superbugs on three fronts, thereby making it very hard for them to develop resistance.
This modification was done by making some adjustments to the molecular structure of the older drug in order to enable it to attack bacteria more efficiently by destroying their cell walls.
Laboratory trials so far have deduced that the new drug is capable of killing all the samples of Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) yet still retains full potency after 50 rounds of the exposure to the bacterium. This is a solid suggestion that the new antibiotic can indeed become a powerful force in the fight with superbugs.
This latest development is anticipated to save many thousands of lives world over. That’s because antibiotic resistance, which is basically the inability of a drug to completely destroy bacteria, has currently become a real problem and is responsible for thousands of premature deaths. In the United Kingdom alone, it is postulated that up to 12,000 people die per annum due to conditions caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Moreover, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare practitioners who are generally exposed to the Vancomycin-resistant enterococci could breathe a sigh of relief since, as a drug that is able to shield them from these risks has finally been developed.
Frankly, it is still too early to speculate or state with absolute certainty just how effective this new drug is going to be. As a matter of fact, it is yet to be tested on animals first and then on humans, before being approved and certified for wide use in humans. So for now, more research is needed to see just how the drug will attack the superbugs in the human body and what impacts (both positive and negative) its use is going to have on the overall morbidity levels.