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Why is it so hard to find new antibiotics to beat superbugs?

Why is it so hard to find new antibiotics to beat superbugs?

Matthew Cooper, Prof. Institute for Molecular Bioscience at The University of Queensland, Australia, has written a very informative article about why we are dangerously close to the edge of a return to the pre-antibiotic era, when even simple infections caused death:

What is covered:

- How we found antibiotics in the past

- Key challenges

- What are scientists doing?

- What are governments doing?

With our increased risk of infection and difficulty recovering from them without antibiotic, help due to our compromised immune system, let's hope that the efforts of scientists and governments are successful.

Prior posts on this important topic:

Antibiotic resistance now 'global threat', WHO warns

Use of antibiotics in agriculture creating fertile ground for antibiotic resistance

More on Bacteria developing Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic Treatment Failure ...UK study

iChip method of searching for new antibiotics and discovery of teixobactin - a promising new antibotic


Photo: Bugs on a jonquil flower

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There was a post on these pages about teixobactin a few days ago, and the newer methods for testing many more. It hit popular science press too:

But the trials will take at least a couple of years, because it's not clear what it would do to beneficial bacteria in humans.


Seymour, I've added a reference to the promising new antibiotic teixobactin in my post above:

Let's hope the trials deliver on the promise. We desperately need more alternatives to fight growing antibiotic resistance.


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I just hope the new antiobiotics are not over priced. They can make their money on quantities. Maybe once the first drug makes it through, the next trials are shorter, too.


More on Teixobactin and how this might be the harbinger of the next generation of antibiotics, from Andrew Beattie, Emeritus Professor at Macquarie University, Australia:


Searching for life in places inhospitable to life, such as in deep ocean trenches, may provide us with new cancer drugs and antibiotics:

Antibiotic abyss: The extreme quest for new medicines

(New Scientist article viewable with free registration)

"Over half of all drugs on the market are either derived from or inspired by plants, animals or bacteria – aspirin is extracted from the bark of the willow tree, penicillin comes from a fungus, and we have soil bacteria to thank for many antibiotics.

Some of these discoveries were happy accidents, but traditionally pharmaceutical companies went foraging for medicinal treasures in remote locations – a practice known as bioprospecting. Such expeditions have struck gold in the past: vinblastine, a chemotherapy drug used to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma, is derived from the rosy periwinkle, a plant native to Madagascar."



Thanks... the Madagascar periwinkle is called vincristine... and speaking of bacteria... Doxorubicin the 'red devil ... the biproduct of bacteria ... 😜

Wonderful stuff...keep looking... both are prominent in RCHOP...

I know... saved my life... no stone unturned...


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