McMaster University Researchers Targeting Bacteria Cell Membranes Fighting Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Research towards fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria

6:56 AM, 21st September 2013
McMaster University Research News
(From left) Chris Verschoor, a postdoctoral fellow, Bowdish’s lab; Dawn Bowdish, Assistant Professor; Maya Farha, PhD candidate in Brown’s lab; Eric Brown, Professor, McMaster University.

ONTARIO, CANADA: Researchers at McMaster University are using a new approach to fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The technique involves researchers in the Michael G DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research targeting the cell membranes of MRSA - a bacteria responsible for increasing the number of life-threatening infections both in hospitals and communities.

“Bacterial membranes have been relatively unexplored as targets for new antibiotics because of concerns of the potential for toxicity of membrane-active drugs,” said Eric Brown, Professor, McMaster University.

Maya Farha, Brown’s student, suggested targeting bacterial membranes with various combinations of membrane-active chemicals shows synergy. In other words, two chemical compounds that together would have a greater effect and avoid toxicity.

“The bacterial membrane is a fundamental structure for energy production and storage in bacteria that functions like a battery. We sought out two classes of chemicals in this work that could disrupt the ‘bacterial battery’ and found that when we combined them, they were wildly synergistic. Voila, a dead battery means no energy in the cell. And a bacterium with no energy is a dead bacterium,” said Brown.

The McMaster discovery is an important one, because antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a growing public health threat worldwide. Scientists have been warning that the weakening arsenal against so-called ‘superbugs’ could mean everyday infections could again become a major cause of death - just as they were before the discovery and development of  penicillin in the late 1930s by the likes of Alexander Fleming.

“Every day, we are thinking about new ways to address this problem and trying to take an innovative approach,” said Brown.

© McMaster University News

0 Comments

Login

Your Comments (Up to 2000 characters)
Please respect our community and the integrity of its participants. WOC reserves the right to moderate and approve your comment.

Related News


BASF acquires biotechnology company, Verenium

LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY: BASF Corporation, US affiliate of BASF, has entered into an agreement to commence a cash tender offer for all of the outstandin ...

Read more
Paralysis of silkworm promises better silk technology

OXFORD, UK: Oxford University researchers have harnessed the natural defence mechanism of silkworms, which causes paralysis, in what is a major step t ...

Read more
Teijin develops biodegradable adhesion prevention gel

TOKYO, JAPAN: Teijin Limited has developed an adhesion prevention gel made with a plant-based biodegradable polymer that is expected to be effectively ...

Read more
Mitsubishi acquires Canadian pharmaceutical company

TOKYO, JAPAN: Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, completed all the procedures for the acquisition of Medicago Inc, ...

Read more
Positively charged ions attract each other in aqueous solution

CALIFORNIA, US: “Opposite charges attract and like charges repel,” is a universal scientific truth. A research team led by Richard Saykall ...

Read more
Fluor JV bags Pemex’s gas compression system contract in Gulf of Mexico

IRVING, US: Fluor Corporation’s ICA Fluor industrial engineering-construction joint venture with Empresas ICA, SAB de CV was awarded a new contr ...

Read more
www.worldofchemicals.com uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. X