French Scientists Create Two New Antibiotics Effective Against Resistant Bacteria

A team of French scientists has discovered two new antibiotics, that could help deal with the global antibiotic resistance crisis and save many lives.
Fabienne Lang

Antibiotics have saved many lives over the last century and have been considered a breakthrough in the world of medicine. Unfortunately, as their use is becoming more widespread, so is resistance to them increasing, rendering some useless against infections. 

This would have catastrophic public health consequences worldwide. 


A new study published on Tuesday in PLOS Biology by French Prof. Brice Felden and his team at Inserm and Université de Rennes 1, detailed two new antibiotics that the scientists recently discovered.

Two new antibiotics that trigger no resistance

"It all started with a fundamental discovery made in 2011," said Felden.

Felden and his team from Inserm and Université de Rennes 1 discovered a new bacterial toxin that they transformed into strong antibiotics and could fight against bacteria responsible for human infections. 

French Scientists Create Two New Antibiotics Effective Against Resistant Bacteria
Medicine tablets. Source: padrinan/Pixabay

Felden continued, "We realized that a toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus, whose role is to facilitate infection, is also capable of killing other bacteria present in the body. What we had identified was a molecule with dual toxic and antibiotic properties."

"We thought that if we could separate these activities, we would be able to create a new antibiotic non-toxic to the body  -- a challenge that we accepted," he concluded. 

After much testing, the team discovered this: "We tested them at doses 10 to 50 times higher than the effective dose without seeing toxicity," said Felden

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Further experimentation

The researchers were careful to ensure they covered all of their bases. 

After several days of direct exposure to the drugs in vivo, the bacteria still showed no signs of resistance. To truly ensure this was the case, the team created conditions that were particularly favorable to resistance and still found a negative result. 

French Scientists Create Two New Antibiotics Effective Against Resistant Bacteria
Petri dishes. Source: National Library of Medicine/Flickr

That said, they remain cautious as the experimental stage was in the short-term, of only 15 days. 

Longer experimental stages could be helpful, and the team's next steps are to launch clinical trials on humans.

"We think these molecules represent promising candidates for the development of new antibiotics that can provide alternative treatments to antimicrobial resistance."

The research provides promising results for antibiotic-resistant treatments.

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