Saturday March 24, 2018

Indian-origin researcher working to beat ‘superbugs’


Researchers, including one of the Indian-origin, have developed novel peptide-like analogs or peptoids that have the similar antimicrobial properties as peptides but more robust.

The discovery paves the way for the creation of new generation antibiotics that can defeat the so-called multi-drug resistant bacteria “superbugs”.

Like proteins, peptides are are chains of amino acids that participate in the metabolic system of living organisms and the immune system.

They are the first line of defense against a broad range of pathogens and are released by the body in the earliest stage of infection.

These peptides are attractive antimicrobials. However, they degrade in the body and have the short half-life.

Rinki Kapoor along with her PhD advisor and professor Annelise Barron of Stanford University studied novel mimics of antimicrobial peptides or peptoids for their antibacterial activity against multi-drug resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs.

In one of their studies, they showed that peptoids kill resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa — one of the leading bug causing hospital associated infections.

The group synthesised seven different peptoids and compared their activity with three different antibiotics.

In a separate study, Kapoor and Barron also revealed that peptoids kill resistant Mycobacteria — bacteria responsible for causing Tuberculosis, a leading cause of death worldwide. In this study, published in the journal of antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy (AAC), they evaluated the efficacy of six different peptoids against Mycobacteria.

“These molecules are currently under research and development and merit further studies to investigate their potential as the new class of drugs for treating resistant bacterial infections,” Kapoor told IANS in a statement.(IANS)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

Next Story

Platypus milk may help combat superbugs

The health body pleads for urgent action to avoid a "post-antibiotic era", where common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill

Platypus milk can combat superbugs and save lives. IANS
Platypus milk can combat superbugs and save lives. IANS
  • Platypus milk can save lives
  • It can combat superbugs
  • It is due to a protein present in their milk

A protein present in the milk of the platypus can potentially save thousands of lives by effectively killing superbugs that has become increasingly resistant to antibiotic drugs, researchers say.

Due to its unique features — duck-billed, egg-laying, beaver-tailed and venomous, the platypus has long exerted a powerful appeal to scientists, making it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology.

Formula made from Cow's milk may reduce the risk of diabetes
Milk of Platypus can save millions of lives. IANS

“Platypus are such weird animals that it would make sense for them to have weird biochemistry,” said lead author Janet Newman, researcher at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Oganisation.

“The platypus belongs to the monotreme family, a small group of mammals that lay eggs and produce milk to feed their young. By taking a closer look at their milk, we’ve characterised a new protein that has unique antibacterial properties with the potential to save lives,” Newman added.

As platypus do not have teats, they express milk onto their belly for the young to suckle, exposing the mother’s highly nutritious milk to the environment and leaving babies susceptible to the perils of bacteria. Researchers believed that this might be the reason why the platypus milk contained a protein with rather unusual and protective anti-bacterial characteristics.

Also Read: Formula made from Cow’s milk may reduce the risk of diabetes

The discovery, detailed in the journal Structural Biology Communications, was made by replicating a special protein contained in platypus milk in a laboratory setting. The results showed a unique 3-D fold with ringlet-like formation, dubbed as the “Shirley Temple”.

“Although we’ve identified this highly unusual protein as only existing in monotremes, this discovery increases our knowledge of protein structures in general, and will go on to inform other drug discovery work done at the Centre,” Newman said. Antibiotic resistance has posed global threat that requires action across all government sectors and society, according to the World Health Organisation.

The health body pleads for urgent action to avoid a “post-antibiotic era”, where common infections and minor injuries which have been treatable for decades can once again kill. IANS

Next Story