Newly Developed Peptide Shows Prominent Action Against Multidrug Resistant Bacteria

Release Date: 24-Sep-2019

A new peptide molecule is designed by the researchers of Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which is able to multi drug resistant bacterium called Acinetobactor baumannii. The safety and efficacy of this antimicrobial drug is very high, which enhances its importance.


This Bacterium is known to develop fetal disorder and it tops the World Health Organization's list of threats that urgently need new antibiotics. This bacterium starts developing resistance immediately and it is also one of six species responsible for most of the infections in hospitals and healthcare settings.


A new study published in Science Advances, IISc researchers informed that they used a bioinformatics method to formulate a new short chain peptide called Omega76 that can kill A. baumannii by breaking down its cell membrane. Infected mice treated with Omega76 had much better survival rates. The team also observed that high doses of Omega76 given for prolonged periods did not produce any toxic effects. Because it is both safe and effective, it is a promising candidate for developing new antibiotics.


According to the senior author Dipshikha Chakravortty, Professor at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, the significance of A. baumannii infection was not sufficiently understood earlier. It was regarded as just another bug in the environment. It has now become a major threat, especially in the intensive care units.


Antibiotics for such infections may soon become ineffective, as resistance to even last-resort drugs such as carbapenems is on the rise. They are not entirely safe either; a drug called colistin, which is considered the last hope for multidrug-resistant infections, has been found to cause severe kidney damage, says first author Deepesh Nagarajan.


The researchers also founds that the Omega76 is not responsible for any significant damage to normal cells. Its median lethal dose was higher than colistin and another recently-developed AMP called pexiganan, indicating that it was safe to use. In mice, multiple high doses of Omega76 could be given over days without causing any significant damage. The combinational therapy of omega76 with colistin is also effective according to the researchers.

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