Jan 15, 2019 | Updated: 01:26 PM EST

New Antibiotics Using Fungi As Untapped Resource

Apr 26, 2017 12:10 PM EDT


Antibiotics are medicines that are generally used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They have reduced illnesses and death caused due to infections to a great extent. The bacteria that were designed to be killed by antibiotics have evolved the ability to survive them due to prolonged usage of these drugs. This has led to antibiotic resistance which has now created the need for new antibiotics.

With this phenomenon becoming prominent amongst patients, there is an imminent danger of simple infections becoming lethal. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that nearly 2 million people are likely to have antibiotic-resistant infections and close to 23,000 people die of such infection in the United States every year. Researchers are on the quest to find new antibiotics that can save lives.

In the battle against antibiotic resistance, the research of the Chalmers University of Technology has proved to be instrumental in finding new kind of antibiotics from commonly found natural resource- Fungi. 9 species of the genus Penicillium were studied using genome sequencing tools. The results that were published in the Nature Microbiology journal stated that this could produce new antibiotics and bioactive compounds.

Science Daily suggests that this study has vast potential for new antibiotics and it could even improve the efficiency of existing antibiotics. Fungi is the easier source that could provide a long-term solution. It is important that physicians are provided with a broad palette of antibiotics so that it can be effectively used to develop medicines which are harder for bacteria to resist.

Fungi, similar to bacteria, produce bioactive compounds which have an impact on living cells to fight its competitors. The researchers also identified more than 1000 patterns of particular molecular reactions from these fungi that can help fight antibiotic resistance. The introduction of these new antibiotics needs to be backed up with the support of governments, sooner, the better.

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