Scientists discovered a new class of antibiotics called oxadiazoles on 9 March 2014. Oxadiazoles can treat antibiotic resistant infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA.
A group of researchers at the University of Notre Dame discovered the new class. The team was led by Mayland Chang and Shahriar Mobashery.
MRSA is a bacterium that developed resistance to penicillin and certain other groups of antibiotics. Scientists had screened 1.2 million compounds. They had found that the oxadiazole inhibits a penicillin-binding protein, PBP2a, and the biosynthesis of the cell wall that enables MRSA to resist other drugs.
The oxadiazoles are also effective when taken orally. This is an important feature as there is only one marketed antibiotic for MRSA that can be taken orally.
MRSA has become a global public-health problem since the 1960s because of its resistance to antibiotics. Only three drugs currently are effective treatments, and resistance to each of those drugs already exists. The researchers have been seeking a solution to MRSA for years.
When: 9 March 2014