December 05, 2016
I fight staph with staph.
What molecule am I?
Image of Lugdunin 3D Image of Lugdunin

Lugdunin is a 21-membered cyclic peptide that consists of 6 amino acid residues plus a thiazolidine moiety. Five of the amino acids are L-valine and the sixth is L-tryptophan.

This past year, Andreas Peschel, Bernhard Krismer, and colleagues at the University of Tübingen (Germany) and the German Center for Infection Research (Tübingen) discovered that a bacterium that resides in the human nose combats disease-causing Staphylococcus aureus. The bacterium, S. lugdunensisproduces the natural antimicrobial lugdunin.

The discovery of lugdunin explains why not all people infected by S. aureus get sick. In laboratory experiments, the macrocyclic antibiotic even killed methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

Scientists believe that the human body contains other bacteria that produce antimicrobials. The hunt is on!

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