Scientists at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, in conjunction with the University of Rennes, have discovered that one of the toxins of Staphylococcus aureus is capable of destroying other bacteria. On its basis, they have developed a new class of antibiotic. The results of the work were published in the journal Plos Biology.
The new family of substances is called peptidomimetics; two of the twenty created molecules were effective in mice with severe sepsis and skin infections caused by resistant bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa). It is important that the new drug itself did not lead to the development of microbial resistance and was not toxic either to tissues and organs of animals, or to human cells, on which experiments were also carried out.
“It all started with a fundamental discovery in 2011. We realized that the toxin, which is produced by Staphylococcus aureus and contributes to the development of infection, is also capable of killing other bacteria present in our body. We found a molecule with dual properties: it was toxic, but at the same time it was an antibiotic. We thought that by separating these characteristics, it would be possible to create a new antibiotic that is not toxic to the body,”said Bryce Felden, director of the Laboratory for Bacterial Regulatory RNA and Medicine in Rennes.
cover: Mara Zemgaliete - stock.adobe.com