New Antibiotic from Microbial 'Dark Matter' could be Powerful Weapon Against Superbugs
Published:17 Sep.2023    Source:Utrecht University
A new powerful antibiotic, isolated from bacteria that could not be studied before, seems capable to combat harmful bacteria and even multi-resistant 'superbugs'. Named Clovibactin, the antibiotic appears to kill bacteria in an unusual way, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop any resistance against it. Researchers from Utrecht University, Bonn University (Germany), the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Northeastern University of Boston (USA), and the company NovoBiotic Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, USA) now share the discovery of Clovibactin and its killing mechanism in the scientific journal Cell.
Antimicrobial resistance is a major problem for human health and researchers worldwide are looking for new solutions. "We urgently need new antibiotics to combat bacteria that become increasingly resistant to most clinically used antibiotics," says Dr. Markus Weingarth, a researcher from the Chemistry Department of Utrecht University.
However, the discovery of new antibiotics is a challenge: few new antibiotics have been introduced into the clinics over the last decades, and then they often resemble older, already known antibiotics.

"Clovibactin is different," says Weingarth. "Since Clovibactin was isolated from bacteria that could not be grown before, pathogenic bacteria have not seen such an antibiotic before and had no time to develop resistance."