February 03, 2015
Image of Teixobactin 3D Image of Teixobactin

Teixobactin is a small-molecule antibiotic reported in early 2015 by K. Lewis at Northeastern University (Boston) and colleagues around the world. The researchers used an innovative screening method to culture teixobactin-containing bacteria. They then identified and isolated the molecule.

In cell-based tests, teixobactin killed many types of Gram-positive pathogens, including drug-resistant strains. Tests in mice showed that the compound is effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae with low toxicity. In addition, the researchers were unable to grow mutants of S. aureus or Mycobacterium tuberculosis that resisted teixobactin. They believe that the compound avoids resistance by destroying the microbes’ ability to build cell walls rather than targeting specific proteins that change as bacteria mutate.

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