These new glycopeptides are a hope against antibiotic resistance

Scientists have discovered how certain compounds attack bacteria differently, one hope to overcome antibiotic resistance.

The emergence of antibiotics has been one of the greatest advances in the history of medicine. In society as a whole, the introduction of penicillin, which Alexander Fleming discovered in 1928, was a revolution. Many infections hitherto difficult to cure began to have a solution. At the time, nothing foreshadowed antibiotic resistance.

But after decades of constant use of antibiotics, some bacteria mutated. Today antibiotic resistance is a fact and in some cases it is a serious problem. A problem that is called to get worse and worse. The WHO itself has warned about the seriousness of the matter. The organization has pointed to drug resistance as an evil to fight in the coming decades. If no measures are taken, the bacteria will become even stronger with the current medicines.

That is why the research carried out by a group of scientists from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada is of great interest. His work has discovered a group of compounds, from the glycopeptide family, that attack bacteria in other ways.

Bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus, of proven resistance, base their strength on a very solid cell wall. Antibiotics work by preventing that cell wall from forming, which inevitably leads to the death of the bacteria. However, the corbomycin and complestatin compounds that Canadian scientists have tested work the other way around.

resistencia antibiótica

These glycopeptides strengthen the bacterial cell wall. And this does not make it stronger. On the contrary, because the strength of the wall is such that it prevents it from breaking in any way. A necessary process for cell division, which is how bacteria reproduce.

A constant search

The discovery could be key to overcoming antibiotic resistance. And it is that at this point the most varied formulas are sought to deal with this problem. The rescue of ancient drugs has even been tried. This is the case of a Chinese investigation, which aims to reuse a drug used in Soviet times against superbugs.

Such is the interest in overcoming this antibiotic resistance that even smartphones have been used. Scientists have already created a device that can be attached to a mobile terminal to detect this problem by collecting samples.

Images: Myriams-Photos, PublicDomainPictures

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