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New Drug Formulated From Dirt Could be New Age Antibiotic

A new method for developing antibiotics from dirt may prove the key to overcoming the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Shelly Fraley, Diabetes Insider, Jan 7, 2015

Bacteria are quickly becoming resistant to antibiotics. Obviously, this is an incredibly difficult problem to deal with as much of our medical industry relies on antibiotics.

But a new method for developing antibiotics may prove the key to overcoming this horrifically systemic problem. This new method extracts drugs from bacteria that live in the dirt. The new drug is called teiobactin and it has been tested, successfully in mice, easily curing infections with very few - and often zero - side effects.

Dr. William Schaffner is an infectious disease specialist with Vanderbilt University. He considers this research innovative, commenting. “We’re in desperate need of some good antibiotic news.” He goes on to say, “It’s at the test-tube and the mouse level, and mice are not men or women, and so moving beyond that is a large step, and many compounds have failed. Toxicity is often the Achilles’ heel of drugs.”

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Teixobactin has yet to be tested on humans, but these early trials are proving to have major potential for an entire new field of medical therapy.

Similarly, Stanford professor of medicine, Dr. David A. Relman, adds “[This study] illustrates the amazing wealth and diversity of as-yet-unrecognized, potent, biologically active compounds made by the microbial world - some of which may have real clinical value.” He continues, “We’ve been blind to the vast majority of them because of the biased and insensitive methods we use to discovery drugs.”
Truly, these methods are flawed because, as he describes, they do not include the microbes that will not grow in a laboratory setting and subject other microbes to artificial conditions that may not be present in a natural setting.

But regardless of where we are now in the development stage, it is important to keep moving forward. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that drug-resistant bacteria s responsible for two million infections and claiming the lives of 23,000 every single year.

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