Researchers look to mushroom isolates to develop antibiotics

Those looking to develop new, cost-effective antibiotics may need to look no further than derivatives of the antibiotic pleuromutilin, which are isolated from the mushroom Clitopilus passeckerianus, according to a study from the University of Bristol in the U.K.

Pleuromutilin and its derivatives lack cross-resistance and represent a world of unrealized potential, particularly for treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Studying the genes of the fungi, Bristol scientists discovered a seven-gene cluster is necessary to produce the C. passeckerianus antibiotic. By restructuring the gene cluster, the scientists identified a new way to synthesize the antibiotic. In trials, the researchers were able to increase antibiotic production by more than 2,000 percent.

"With this development, we are now ideally placed to develop novel derivatives and new antibiotics and produce them rapidly and cost effectively — something which is desperately needed globally," concluded study co-author Gary Foster, PhD.



More articles on antibiotics:
Inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions common among US ambulatory care providers
Infection control, antibiotic stewardship reduces cardiac SSIs
Study shows antibiotic use accelerates Type 1 diabetes

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