Stanford chemist has modified a common antibiotic to make it more effective in combating a common type of antibiotic-resistant bacterium, according to a university edition.
According to Xinhua, chemists have developed a small molecular attachment that helps conventional antibiotics penetrate and destroy their targets, according to their article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The appendix, known as r8, helps to lead antibiotics through a bacterial external defense and encourages them to die, Alexandra Antonoplis, a PhD student in chemistry and co-author of the report, cited by the release as said.
Penetration and stamina help kill bacteria like Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, which doctors would otherwise struggle to quit, according to release.
Adding r8 to vancomycin, a first defense against MRSA, made the new drug hundreds more times more effective, according to experiments performed by the team.
The same strategy may apply in addition to MRSA to other drugs and infections, researchers say.
"You do not have to invent a new drug. You just have to fix the problems with existing drugs," says Paul Wender, professor of chemistry and a member of the Stanford Cancer Institute.
In the long run, the new approach may be good news for public health professionals who have struggled with how to handle antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA.
MRSA, which often starts on the skin, causes more than half of hospital-related infections in Asia and America, and it is the leading cause of death among antibiotic-resistant infections, according to release.
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