Will a New Drug to Fight Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Really Work?
Scientists hope a new discovery will give a boost to vancomycin, a “last resort” antibiotic that its effectiveness has been weakened by bacteria resistant to its actions.
First introduced in 1958, vancomycin is used to treat infections when other antibiotics fail. However, starting in the late 1980s, vancomycin-resistant bacteria emerged, leading scientists to engineer more powerful versions of the drug.
Now, researchers have developed a new version of vancomycin that may prove to be even more successful than previous versions.
The upgraded compound attacks bacteria in three different ways, which have proven to be thousands of times more powerful than the original version, according to lab test results.
“An antibiotic to which bacteria cannot develop resistance is the Holy Grail,” David Weiss, PhD, associate professor of medicine, and director of the Emory Antibiotic Resistance Center at Emory University, told Healthline. Dr. Weiss is also a faculty member in the IMP and MMG programs.
“It seems unlikely this is possible,” he added, “but we can certainly develop antibiotics to which resistance is much less likely to occur, and the present study does a beautiful job of that.”