Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sussex scientist makes MRSA treatment breakthrough with synthetic antibiotic

22.02.2005


A groundbreaking new treatment to combat the hospital killer bug MRSA, which is estimated to cause up to 5,000 deaths a year in Britain, is being developed by a University of Sussex scientist.



Philip Parsons, a professor of organic chemistry, has devised a simple "one-pot" method to make a synthetic version of a natural antibiotic, lactonamycin, which could be used to treat infected patients. He has now received a £280,000 grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council towards developing a series of lactonamycin-like substances.

Professor Parsons explains: "The most important thing hospitals can do to fight MRSA is to improve ward cleanliness. But we still need new antibiotics to combat the bug when it arises. "We know that lactonamycin, a naturally occurring antibiotic, can kill MRSA. But it is has not been available as a drug therapy, partly due to its novelty and complexity. We are looking at a simple way to synthesise the antibiotic and its compounds, which could also be highly effective in the fight against infection."


The search for new antibiotics active against "super bugs" such as MRSA is of paramount importance because of the increasing problems faced by hospitals in treating drug-resistant bacterial infections. The latest Government figures estimate that up to 100,000 people catch an infection in UK hospitals every year, with the elderly and the very young most at risk of complications and death.

Research has shown that lactonamycin, an extract of the bacteria Streptomyces rishiriensis, is active against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Naturally occurring chemicals, such as lactonamycin, often have complex molecular structures and are difficult to synthesise because the process usually involves many chemical steps. Professor Parsons has discovered a "one-pot" method - known as cascade reaction - during which several reactions take place at once.

"This is a very exciting discovery," adds Professor Parsons. "It will be important not just for producing lactonamycin, but for making other compounds, natural products and drug substances more efficiently."

| alfa
Further information:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Success at leading conference on silicon materials science and technology in Japan

13.12.2018 | Awards Funding

NSF-supported scientists present new research results on Earth's critical zone

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes

13.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>