40-Year-Old Octapeptin Could Be Answer to Controlling Super-Bugs

40-Year-Old Octapeptin Could Be Answer to Controlling Super-Bugs

A 40-year-old antibiotic might be the best weapon humanity has against super-bugs. According to researchers from the University of Queensland Institute for Molecular Bioscience, they have seen improved effectiveness of the antibiotic against drug-resistant bacteria. The researchers collaborated with Monash University to analyze the drug’s effectiveness against animal infections.


Researchers discovered octapeptins in the 1970s but the researchers deemed them not worthy of development. During that time, there were many antibiotics developed in various research and development facilities.


However, there are now a few researchers left in the antibiotics research field. That’s why new studies are reevaluating old drugs using modern procedures. Researchers want to find ways to fight gram-negative bacteria, which are more difficult to kill because they have a shell-like membrane that protects them from the body’s immune system and drugs.


Octapeptins displayed superior antimicrobial activity against gram-negative bacteria during the pre-clinical trials. The antibiotic is also less toxic to the kidneys compared to colistin. The study also laid down the foundation for the research on the next generation of antibiotics to control super-bugs.


Super-bugs are becoming one of the dangers to people’s health in the near future. Researchers need to find a way to attack super-bugs. By the year 2050, drug-resistant bacteria would affect around 10 million people. At present, there are around 700,000 people infected by super-bugs around the world.


While the study on octapeptins is still in its early stage, researchers are optimistic about the future of the antibiotic in fighting super-bugs. They are hopeful that the octapeptins research will lead to similar studies in other laboratories.


Finding the way to combat super-bugs is a growing concern. Despite the urgency of the issue, there is only a single class of antibiotic to emerge from research labs today. This should change in the near future.