The research study under consideration is a report focusing on teixobactin – a new cell wall inhibitor that is obtained from a screen of uncultured bacteria that grow in diffusion chambers (Ling et al. 455). The authors have chosen to study the potential and efficacy of the new compound because they believe that any new organisms might hide antimicrobials just like in the case of other uncultured bacteria. In the report, the authors describe the structure of teixobactin and its influence against pathogenic microorganisms, determine how long teixobactin takes to kill pathogens as well as its influence on macromolecular biosynthesis is, and report on the work being conducted with the new compound. Finally, the authors provide data about the impact of teixobactin on infections with a focus on its efficacy in mice.
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According to the study, teixobactin is produced as a result of the catalyzation of the “ring closure between threonine and the last isoleucine by the thioesterase domains during molecule off-loading” (Ling et al. 456). To generate the compound, the authors used a device called iChip. They conclude that teixobactin is efficient against Gram-positive pathogens such as drug-resistant strains as well as other organisms and genotypes like difficult-to-treat enterococci, Clostridium difficult, Bacillus anthracis, S. aureus, and a strain of E. coli asmB1. The compound is also potent against species such as M. tuberculosis (Ling et al. 456). Nevertheless, it is inefficient against most Gram-negative bacteria, does not represent toxicity against mammalian cells such as NIH/3T3 and HepG2, does not bind DNA, and does not show hemolytic activity (Ling et al. 456). Moreover, cells do not develop resistance against teixobactin through mutations.
To determine the impact of teixobactin on infections, the authors carried out an experiment on three groups of mice. The first group, comprised of six mice, was treated with teixobactin and vancomycin. They were subject to a single-dose treatment 1 hour post-infection. The model was septicemia protection. The second group comprised of four mice, and the treatment was a single dose of 2 hours post-infection. However, the model was neutropenic thigh infection. The third group, comprised of five mice, was provided with a two-dose treatment of teixobactin (24 hours and 36 hours post-infection) and a single dose of amoxicillin (24 hours post-infection). In this case, the model was a lung infection. During the experiment, the authors concluded that teixobactin is effective on these infections due to the survival of mice in all three groups: 48 hours after infection in the first and third groups and 26 hours after infection in the second group (Ling et al. 458). In this way, the authors also discovered that bacteria did not evolve to develop resistance, which means that teixobactin might belong to a new generation of antibiotics with exceptional efficacy.
The new compound is related to cells, especially the cells of bacteria. From this perspective, it is connected to cell mutations. The evolution of bacteria through cell mutations leads to multidrug resistance and a decreasing efficacy of antibiotic treatment. In this way, teixobactin might solve the critical problem of multidrug resistance and antibiotic immunity. This unique feature of teixobactin can be explained by the fact that it targets the cell wall precursor instead of the endogenous proteins targeted by most other popular antibiotics (Jin et al. 2). Because teixobactin does not have a direct influence on cell proteins, there is a limited risk of mutations (Ampel par. 5).
Ampel, Neil N. “Teixobactin: A New Antibiotic Without Resistance? Stay Tuned.” JWatch. 2015, Web.
Jin, Kang et al. “Total Synthesis of Teixobactin.” Nature Communications, vol. 7, no. 12394, 2016, pp. 1-5.
Ling, Losee L. et al. “A New Antibiotic Kills Pathogens Without Detectable Resistance.” Nature, vol. 517, no. 7535, 2015, pp. 455-459.
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