Researchers from Rice University have collaborated the great minds of noted structural biologists, organic chemists and laboratory team to recreate a new, all-natural antibiotic.
This new research shows the potential for an antibiotic that is derived completely from the fungus, Viridicatumtoxin B, to provide a more simplified synthesis of a new generation of more effective antibiotics.
As reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society this month, the team of researchers have tested several variants of the viridicatumtoxin B in hopes of one day being able to produce more effective antibiotics.
The need for better antibiotics stems from the growing problems seen around the world as bacteria evolves and creates resistance to common antibiotic treatments given in hospitals and clinics globally.
The concept for the study stemmed from what researchers learned back in 2008 when they were successful in isolating small amounts of tetracycline from penicillium fungi. This discovery provided the groundwork for the Rice University’s researchers to be able to analyze the structures, though small as they were, using MRI technologies.
Tetracycline belongs in the popular class of antibiotics today that are known for their molecular structure in the science world. The problem with this new tetracycline is that the amounts of it naturally occurring in nature are small and not sufficient enough to sustain a fight against the growing evolution of bacteria and “superbugs”.
With the speed at which bacteria is evolving, the race for new versions of the antibiotics has increasing in need. With the all natural antibiotic, viridicatumtoxin B, the amounts of effective parts are so small that the team of researchers use these parts to create a synthetic version of the antibiotic. They essentially mimic the molecular structure, “atom by atom” in their research to recreate the powerful antibiotics. In their recreation of the molecules structure, they have shown proof that it is possible to provide a more potent and effective line of antibiotics derived through synthetic chemistry.
Although this new research could possibly take years or even decades to produce a product for patent, the ground work has been laid and all of the researchers objectives were met in their journey.
This is truly profound news for the world of chemistry and biology in the race for a powerful “superbug” combative.