Monday, January 21, 2008

I have to wonder what Laurie Garret, author of The Coming Plague, would say to the scientists mentioned in this article.  Researchers from the Universities of Michigan and Minnesota claim to have made a major step toward the development of new antibiotics in the family of macrolides.  After successfully crystalizing a bacteria in the process of making a macrolide ring, scientists believe they will better understand how these antibiotics work and how they can create more of them.  There is already a growing resistance to macrolide antibiotics, but these researchers claim that their new findings has the potential for bacteria to create thousands of new compounds which can then be tested for antibiotic activity.  One interesting thing about this discovery is that it requires less chemical manipulation of the bacteria and could provide a greener way to produce antibiotics.

1 comment:

John Latto said...

Interesting. I'd like to find some more details on this. Macrolide resistance certainly exists (just google 'macrolide' and 'resistance') but I'm not sure on the mechanism of resistance and how often resistance is to the whole class of macrolides.

For example some beta-lactam resistance mechanisms are very general and work against all beta-lactam antibiotics others are rather more specific and only target specific antibiotics leaving others in the family still effective.

Obviously resistance mechanisms that confer resistance to whole families of antibiotics are more problematic.