Researchers from Colorado have identified a new topical antibiotic that may inhibit skin infections in humans. Their findings appear in the October 2005 issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
Ongoing emergence of drug-resistant bacteria continues to propel the search for new antibiotics. In the year 2000, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) measured an infection rate of 43.7% in U.S. hospitals, with nasal carriage as an important risk factor in transmission. Until recently, mupirocin effectively treated S. aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes skin infections, however S. aureus is now showing signs of resistance.
In the study the antibacterial activity of a novel methionyl-tRNA inhibitor, REP8839, was tested against samples of S. aureus and S. pyogenes. Researchers found all isolates of S. aureus, including strains resistant to methicillin, mupirocin, vancomycin, and linezolid, to be susceptible to REP8339 as well as all isolates of S. pyogenes.
"This study has shown that REP8839 has important coverage against both major skin pathogens: S. aureus and S. pyogenes," say the researchers. "The compound is currently in preclinical development as a topical antibiotic for the treatment of skin infections and for the eradication of nasal carriage of S. aureus."
(I.A. Critchley, C.L. Young, K.C. Stone, U.A. Ochsner, J. Guiles, T. Tarasow, N. Janjic. 2005. Antibacterial activity of REP8839, a new antibiotic for topical use. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 49. 10: 4247-4252.)
More Diverse Bacteria Found in Arctic Tundra than Forest Soil
The soil beneath the arctic tundra is home to a greater diversity of microorganisms than nearby boreal forests according to researchers from British Columbia. They report their findings in the October 2005 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.