New antibiotics discovered during gene editing

This is news that will revive hope in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic with a grim toll. Scientists at the University of Manchester have updated a new method for making complex antibiotics using genes. This discovery is an important step in the treatment of neglected diseases and future pandemics.

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications. The researchers there report having manipulated the CRISPR-Cas9 genes to create novel non-ribosomal peptide synthetase enzymes (NRPS). These enzymes release clinically important antibiotics like penicillin or vancomycin.

This discovery opens a new page in the history of modern medicine.

Fighting Antimicrobial Resistance Infections

The British government has come up with catastrophic figures on antimicrobial resistance infections (RAM). They are believed to cause around 700,000 deaths each year. By 2050, these statistics would be more grim and cross the 10 million mark. This situation would have an enormous financial cost estimated at 100,000 billion dollars.

“The emergence of antibiotic resistant pathogens is one of the greatest threats we face today. “

Jason Micklefield, Professor of Chemical Biology at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), UK

The properties of conventional antibiotics have shown their limits in the face of certain diseases and pandemics. Several pathogens have developed and are resistant to antibiotics, which complicates treatment for several diseases.

To meet this challenge, British researchers modified the main enzymes in the nucleotide chain in bacteria. A method that made it possible to design new genes for the production of antibiotics complex.

A ray of hope in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic

This new discovery is for the scientific community a major breakthrough that could be taken into account in vaccine approaches against the Coronavirus. Various laboratories around the world will certainly be able to integrate this scientific feat into their various protocols.

“The gene editing approach we have developed is a very efficient and rapid way to design complex assembly line enzymes that can produce new antibiotic structures with potentially improved properties. “

Jason Micklefield, Professor of Chemical Biology at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), UK

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