BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in:  Sci/Tech
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Wednesday, 13 May, 1998, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
New antibiotics to beat the bugs
Some bacteria are drug resistant
Some bacteria cannot be held at bay by drugs
Scientists have developed two new compounds that may herald the beginning of a new class of antibiotic to combat increasingly drug-resistant bacteria. Our science correspondent David Whitehouse reports.

Over the past few years, the number of antibiotic-resistant bacterium has become a major concern for scientists and doctors. Some infections can only be controlled by one drug and there have been worrying reports that some bacteria cannot be treated at all.

Writing in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, researchers at Boston University and Scriptgen Pharmaceuticals say they have synthesised two compounds, myxopyronin A and B, that prevent drug-resistant bacteria from multiplying.

"This is a significant breakthrough from a chemistry point of view, but it's the first step in the process," said Michael Palfreyman of Scriptgen.

Professor James Panek of Boston University adds: "It is an exciting opportunity for the development of a new type of antibiotic - we now have the means to generate new drugs."

Scientists believe that new types of antibiotics will be needed in the future as more bacteria develop resistant strains.

However, they are keen to point out that the unnecessary use of antibiotics makes matters worse and hastens the arrival of resistant bacteria.

See also:

23 Apr 98 | Sci/Tech
Animals and antibiotics: the risks
Links to more Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories