Unique Fungus May Fight Superbugs
the MPR take:
The fungus Aspergillus versicolor may be a powerful weapon in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, aka superbugs. As some strains of bacteria have become skilled in breaking a chemical ring in most antibiotics that creates a neutralizing effect, scientists have sought ways of destroying the bacterial enzyme that breaks the chemical ring. In an article published in the journal Nature, researchers screened 500 molecules from organisms that naturally produce compounds that interfere with bacterial enzymes. One molecule from the fungus Aspergillus versicolor rapidly and potently inhibited the enzyme in New Delhi Metallobeta-Lactamase-1 (NDM-1), an antibiotic-resistant gene that has been called a global public health threat by the WHO. The authors hope to discover similar inhibitors from nature for other superbugs.
There's a war going on, and most of us can't even see it. While antibiotics have been a powerful weapon against bacteria that can cause serious and even fatal infections, the microbes have been just as busy as drug makers in finding ways to evade the medications. “Bacteria seem to laugh in their face,” says Gerard Wright, director of the Michael G.
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