St Jude's researchers create new antibiotic to target bad microbes only

Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., are testing an experimental drug called Debio 1452, which targets the bacteria that causes staph infections while leaving helpful bacteria untouched.

The antibiotic targets the FabI protein common among all staph bacteria, but not many other types of bacteria. Debio 1452 disrupts FabI, causing the structure of the bacterial cell to be compromised.

 

The study compared the microbiomes of mice treated with either Debio 1452 or more common antibiotics like clindamycin and amoxicillin. The microbiomes in mice who received Debio 1452 saw little change, while the microbiomes of mice treated with other antibiotics were significantly depleted.

 

After the mice were taken off antibiotics, the mice treated with Debio 1452 showed a healthy population and diversity of bacteria in their biomes within two days, while the other group took up to 20 days to fully recover.

 

Although Debio 1452 has completed preliminary safety and effectiveness testing in humans, the drug will need to pass larger clinical human trials before being approved for market by the FDA, according to NPR.

 

 

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