Antimalarial drug may point way to new class of antibiotics

emely lethal," he said.

Kunin also tested the antimalarial drugs in combination with 8 or 10 older antibiotics. In many cases, he said, "the two acted together almost in a synergistic manner so that less of either drug is needed to do the same job."

The antibiotics from the gentamicin family proved to be the most potent, and for good reason, he said. The mefloquine-like compounds interfere with the surface membranes of the bacteria, making them more permeable to the gentamicin, which ordinarily don't penetrate the bacterial cell wall very well.

The mefloquine compounds enable the gentamicin to enter the bacterium and go to work," he said.


Contact: Calvin Kunin
Ohio State University

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