New colistin variant outmanoeuvres pathogens
The United Nations recently projected that, unless new drugs are developed, multidrug-resistant infections will force up to 24 million people into extreme poverty within the next decade and cause 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
Scientists are especially apprehensive about a broad group of bacteria that circulate in hospitals and can dodge not only blockbuster drugs like penicillin and tetracycline, but even colistin, an antibiotic long used as a crucial last option. When colistin fails, there is often no effective antibiotics for patients with multidrug-resistant infections.
Rockefeller scientists report on the discovery of a compound that could potentially outmanoeuvre colistin resistance. In animal experiments, this prospective antibiotic was highly potent against dangerous opportunistic pathogens like Acinetobacter baumannii, the most common cause of infections in healthcare settings.
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