According to official statistics, superbugs resistant to traditional methods of antibiotic therapy are the cause of death of about 100,000 people around the world. And in order to resist the tiny killers you need a special superactivity. Only here the problem is not only the complexity of their manufacture, but also the fact that the production of such drugs is accompanied by the formation of highly toxic waste. However, a group of scientists has recently found a simple way to synthesize antibiotics without the formation of dangerous by-products.
According to the publication EurekAlert, scientists from the University of Colorado have created a new catalyst that helps in the synthesis of thiopeptides. Dipeptide antibiotics are of natural origin, which in some tests has shown itself effective against resistant to the traditional antibiotics of strains of Staphylococcus aureus. The main difficulty in the production of thiopeptides is that their complex structure does not allow them to be produced on an industrial scale.
“We’ve looked at the fundamental chemical properties of these molecules and how they interact with superbugs. No one has analyzed these substances in the modern context before.”said the study’s lead author, Maciej Walczak.
Researchers have developed a new catalyst for the acceleration of reactions of synthesis of dipeptides that led to the emergence of how to create two effective antibiotics: microlactin R1 and cicilline I.
“The results exceeded our expectations. This is a very clean and effective reaction. The only waste is water and this fact can be very important because the technology is scalable.”
The new method of chemical synthesis is only the starting point of a larger program. Scientists plan to use these technologies as a platform for selecting and forming parts of molecules of other thiopeptides in order to optimize their properties and use in the fight against other classes of superbugs.