Old antibiotic compounds would be life-saving drugs

To combat  drug-resistant infections, scientists are scouring chemical compounds that were previously discarded to identify the ones that could be transformed into new antibiotics. In the mid-20th century, many different chemical compounds were examined to determine the ones that had antibacterial properties; however, only a small proportion of compounds was used for drug development.

In modern times, diseases have become highly resistant to existing drugs. At the University of Leeds, these old compounds are being re-examined by biologists and chemists by using advancements in science and technology. These compounds are being tested very precisely to determine if they could be developed into a drug in the near future.

Presently, more than 3,000 antibiotics have been discovered till date. Nevertheless, only a handful of compounds have been prescribed clinically till date. There may be several compounds with untapped potential.

Life-saving drugs may be produced by identifying compounds that have anti-bacterial properties; these compounds might have not been used in clinical practice earlier. With the mutation of bugs, scientists are clueless about tackling them with existing batches of antibiotics.

Potential new drug

According to latest research studies, a compound identified in 1940s was a realistic contender as a new antibiotic drug. Actinorhodins (ACT) constitute a family of compounds with some antibiotic properties; however, these compounds were not developed into life-saving drugs previously.

A promising new drug has been developed to combat bacterial infections.  Antibacterial activity was exhibited by two most important representatives of ESKAPE category of bacteria, which have the ability to ‘escape’ the action of existing drugs.

New drugs should be discovered and developed to tackle antibiotic resistance. Potentially useful drugs were identified from antibiotics, which were already to people.  The group of drugs belonging to ACT family showed weak antibiotic activity, so they could not be evaluated previously.

To discover new drugs, one needs to identify chemical compounds that were shelved out previously. New antibiotics have not been discovered in the past 25 years. Current strategy of considering chemical compounds that were shelved off previously is a nice way of combating the growing strain of drug-resistant bacteria.


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