Researchers reveal details on new antibiotic for resistant bacteria

Scientists say the new type of antibiotic can treat for bacteria that are resistant to most of the currently available antibiotics in use by doctors.
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Posted at 9:56 PM, Jan 04, 2024

Researchers have announced new details on an antibiotic in development that can treat for most types of drug-resistant bacteria that currently available antibiotics in use by medical professionals have had trouble with. 

A top antibiotic-resistant “priority pathogen" listed as especially difficult to treat by the World Health Organization in 2017 called carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (CRAB) was discussed in the study, which was published in the journal Nature this month. Infections caused by the drug-resistant strain have been hard to treat. A new type of antibiotic is showing promising results in treating CRAB, which has been shown to account for around 2% of U.S. hospital infections. 

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The bacteria has been found to actually thrive in medical environments including nursing homes and hospitals. 

The FDA has not approved a new class of antibiotic in over half a century, according to researchers. Scientists representing Harvard University worked with researchers at Hoffmann-La Roche, a Swiss health company, to produce data showing how the new antibiotic can kill off Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii.

In the study, researchers examined around 45,000 small antibiotic molecules known as tethered macrocyclic peptides to determine the ones that would have the ability to inhibit growth of various bacteria.   

Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii falls into a class of bacteria known as "gram-negative," which are typically very difficult to treat.