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First Antibiotic Discovered Without Resistance

Jan 10, 2015 01:43 PM EST
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Antibiotic resistance is a problem that has utterly surrounded developed countries like the United States, possibly leading to fatalities from common infections and minor injuries. But scientists have recently discovered the first antibiotic that doesn't boast resistance to the drugs that we use everyday, according to new research.

More recently it has become common practice to prescribe antibiotics even in cases when they might not be needed, and consequently, the CDC says, antibiotics have learned to adapt and develop resistance to the drugs that they are exposed to. But now there is hope for this antibiotic-crazed era.

Teixobactin is the antibiotic in question, and in the lab it successfully eliminated pathogens without showing any detectable resistance by mutating of pathogens, challenging the long-held belief that all antibiotics will always develop resistance. This discovery may lead to opportunities to treat chronic infections like tuberculosis and those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) - a "superbug" that infects one million Americans annually.

"(The researchers') work offers hope that innovation and creativity can combine to solve the antibiotics crisis," Gerard Wright from McMaster University, who was not involved in the research, said in a statement.

It was Kim Lewis and colleagues from Northeastern University that discovered teixobactin via a novel method for growing uncultured bacteria in the lab. Their approach involved the iChip - developed by co-author Slava Epstein - that can isolate and help grow single cells in their natural environment and thereby provide researchers with better access to uncultured bacteria.

Researchers are fighting to develop new ways of treating non-viral infections as current options are rendered useless, but the hope is that this breakthrough method can soon solve the antibiotic resistance problem and lay new ground for treating MRSA and other chronic infections.

The results were published in the journal Nature.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

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