27 February 2020

Compounds containing metals could hold the key to the next generation of antibiotics to combat the growing threat of global antibiotic resistance.

国自产视频在线观看University of Queensland researchers, working with a network of international collaborators, have discovered 23 previously unexplored compounds containing metals such as silver, manganese, zinc, ruthenium and iridium that have antibacterial and antifungal activity.

The study was led by , and of UQ’s Centre for Superbug Solutions at the .

“This is promising research because the scientific community is struggling to keep up with the pace of bacterial resistance,” Dr Blaskovich said.

They found many of the metal compounds selectively kill cells of bacteria, including the potentially deadly methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but not human cells.

国自产视频在线观看“There are around 40 new antibiotics in clinical trials, which sounds encouraging until you compare this to the more than 1000 medicines and vaccines in clinical trials for cancer treatments,” he said.

Dr Frei said almost 75 per cent of the antimicrobial medicines under development were derivatives of known and used antibiotics, making them potentially susceptible to existing bacterial resistance.

国自产视频在线观看“Finding completely new types of antibiotics in these metal-containing compounds offers promise to outwit bacterial resistance, because they likely use different mechanisms which the bacteria have not encountered previously,” Dr Frei said.

"In addition to activity against MRSA, some compounds were active against dangerous Gram-negative pathogens such as Escherichia coli and Acinetobacter baumannii, which have even fewer novel antibiotic treatments.”

国自产视频在线观看The research was conducted through the – which was established in the labs of Professor Matt Cooper to offer a simple and free screening service to scientists worldwide with funding from the Wellcome Trust and UQ.

国自产视频在线观看“We embarked on a quest to tap into the millions of compounds sitting unused on laboratory shelves, discarded because they don’t fit the mould for common drug design,” Dr Blaskovich said.

“We test these compounds to see if they have an effect on bacterial and fungal pathogens.

国自产视频在线观看“So far we have received and screened 300,000 compounds, including nearly 1000 metal-containing compounds, from over 300 academic groups across 47 countries.”

The research team hopes the findings will bring prompt new investment in antimicrobial research.

国自产视频在线观看“Many pharmaceutical companies are bowing out of antibiotic research as there is little return on investment,” Dr Frei said.

国自产视频在线观看“So it is vital to raise awareness that metal complexes are a prospective source of truly novel antibiotics with potential for combatting antimicrobial resistance.”

This research has been published in and is free to read.

Media: Dr. Mark Blaskovich, m.blaskovich@imb.uq.rzwaan.com, +61 414 955 380; Dr Angelo Frei, a.frei@imb.uq.rzwaan.com, +61 7 3346 2204; IMB Communications team, communications@imb.uq.rzwaan.com, 0405 661 856.