Australian researchers are developing a new antibiotic that may be effective against a wide range of bacterial diseases including Tuberculosis.
The existing antibiotics target only the bacterial cell membranes but this potential new antibiotic may be operated as a protein inhibitor which binds to an enzyme critical for metabolic processes, interrupting the life cycle of the bacteria.
According to The Advertiser daily report, Andrew Abell, the University of Adelaide's acting head of the School of Chemistry and Physics, said the new compound operates differently to existing antibiotics.
The new compound was in the very early stages of development and had not yet been tested in animals, Abell said, adding that it had the potential to become the first of a new class of antibiotics which could help in the fight against antibiotic resistant strains of bacterial diseases.
"Bacteria quickly build resistance against the known classes of antibiotics and this is causing a significant global health problem," Abell said.
The new antibiotic could be used to beat bacterial resistance, said the scientist.
"Preliminary results show that this new class of compound may be effective against a wide range of bacterial diseases includingTuberculosis which has developed a strain resistant to all known antibiotics," Abell said.
He has been working on the project with researchers at the Women's and Children's Hospital and Monash University.
The results so far had been promising, but the next step was to test the compound in animal models, said Abell.
The research has been published in the journal Chemical Science.