Teixobactin, a new antibiotic discovered

Scientists from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts discovered a new antibiotic named Teixobactin capable of fighting infections that kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.

Created On: Jan 9, 2015 11:11 IST

New antibiotic named Teixobactin was discovered by a team of scientists from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Discovered for the first time after about three decades, this antibiotic is capable of fighting infections that kill hundreds of thousands of people each year.

The discovery was published online in the journal Nature on 7 January 2015.


Feature of Teixobactin

• Teixobactin inhibits cell wall synthesis by binding to a highly conserved motif of lipid II (precursor of peptidoglycan) and lipid III (precursor of cell wall teichoic acid).
• Any mutants of Staphylococcus aureus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistant to teixobactin has been obtained
• Properties of this compound suggest a path towards developing antibiotics that are likely to avoid development of resistance

How Teixobactin was obtained?

The antibiotic Teixobactin was obtained from uncultured bacteria by cultivation in situ or by using specific growth factors. Uncultured organisms were used for creation of the antibiotic as the team believed that approximately 99% of all species in external environments are an untapped source of new antibiotics.


Why this discovery is essential?
The first antibiotic Penicillin was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928 and since that discovery more than 100 compounds have been found. The heyday of antibiotic discovery was in the 1950s and 1960s, but no new class has been found since 1987.

Need of introduction of new antibiotic or drug became essential as diseases like Malaria and MDR TB (Tuberculosis) has became incurable as they have developed resistance against the class of antibiotics available at present, causing a public health crisis. This discovery can be beneficial in the fight against the growing resistance to drugs.

 

 

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