A glimmer hope for antibiotics?

While most antibiotics were developed between the 1940s and 1960s, research since the 1980s has mainly focused on synthetic molecules, whether derived from natural antibiotics or not. The growing number of therapeutic failures point to a loss in efficacy of these treatments. The reason is the ingeniousness of bacteria, which have constantly adapted and invented ways to combat antibiotics. A new natural molecule discovered by Dr Kim Lewis and his team (Northeastern University Boston) gives rise to hope. Baptised “Teixobactin”, this new antibiotic could be the first in a new drug class. Efficacious and showing no adverse effects on mice, it may be able to counter serious human infections. Two-year studies on humans should commence shortly.

Sylvie Ponlot