Scientists reengineer vancomycin to fight superbug

A team of scientific researchers modified the last-resort antibiotic vancomycin to improve its ability to limit Enterococci bacteria, according to a study published in PNAS Plus.


The modification to the drug results in a 1,000-fold increase to its antibiotic activity and works against the bacteria in three ways to make the development of drug-resistance more difficult.

"This increases the durability of this antibiotic," said Dale Boger, co-chair of the La Jolla, Calif.-based Scripps Research Institute's chemistry department and one of the study's researchers, according to CNN. "Organisms just can't simultaneously work to find a way around three independent mechanisms of action. Even if they found a solution to one of those, the organisms would still be killed by the other two."

Enterococci bacteria can cause dangerous urinary and surgical wound infections. It could potentially take years before the revamped antibiotic clears the necessary clinic trials to become mass-produced antibiotic therapy.

To learn more about Enterococci bacteria, click here.

To read the full study, click here.

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