Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Home Tech News Antibiotic resistance outwitted by British scientist using supercomputers

Antibiotic resistance outwitted by British scientist using supercomputers

Researchers are trying to create better antibiotics to fight bacteria (Getty)

A British-based scientist has used powerful supercomputers to help develop drugs to beat bacteria.

Over time, bacteria has become resistant to the antibiotics we use – many of which are just variations of drug classes developed decades ago.

But Dr Gerhard Koenig, of Portsmouth University, may have come up with the answer.

Working with scientists in Germany and the US, Dr. Koenig was able to modify a major antibiotic and understand what needed to be changed to enable the drug to target a different part of the bacteria and kill it.

‘Antibiotics are one of the pillars of modern medicine and antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to human health,’ Dr. Koenig said. ‘There’s an urgent need to develop new ways of fighting ever-evolving bacteria.

‘Developing a new antibiotic usually involves finding a new target that is essential for the survival of a wide range of different bacteria.

‘This is extremely difficult, and only very few new classes of antibiotics have been developed in recent times.’

In fact, only two new classes of antibiotics have been introduced in the last 40 years.

The results of Dr. Koenig’s study show the modified antibiotic was 56 times more active against key bacteria than the top two antibiotics on the WHO’s list of essential medicines.

‘We have taken a simpler approach by starting from an existing antibiotic, which is ineffective against new resistant strains, and modifying it so it’s now able to overcome resistance mechanisms,’ he said.

Many large drugmakers, like Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca have abandoned development of their antibiotic programs in recent years because they aren’t as profitable as other areas.

‘The persistent failure to develop, manufacture, and distribute effective new antibiotics is further fueling the impact of antimicrobial resistance and threatens our ability to successfully treat bacterial infections,’ said Dr. Hanan Balkhy, WHO Assistant Director General.

MORE : Why do antibiotics not work on viruses?

MORE : Antibiotic of ‘last resort’ kills bacteria by popping it like a balloon

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Former Calgary Dino now a rookie with NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers

Canadian Deane Leonard has certainly taken the path less travelled to the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers. The 22-year-old cornerback is in his rookie season with...

‘Impact success!’ Nasa spacecraft smashes asteroid in first ever ‘planetary defence test’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Nasa has successfully crashed a spacecraft into a small asteroid...

TikTok could face £27m fine for failing to protect children’s privacy

TikTok could face £27m fine for failing to protect children’s privacyInvestigation finds video-sharing app may have breached UK data protection law between 2018 and...

Eight states sue crypto lender Nexo over security sales and misleading marketing

/ New York’s attorney general alleges that the company’s Earn Interest Product was a security, one that the company wasn’t registered to sell,...