Researchers discover new class of antibiotics | Current Affairs, Current Affairs 2017

Researchers discover new class of antibiotics

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A team of scientists from the University of Illinois, Chicago, has discovered a new class
of antibiotics

It is new class of naturally produced, ribosome-targeting antibacterial agents, odilorhabdins, produced by a nematode-symbiotic bacterium. According to the researchers, Odilorhabdins are produced by a symbiotic bacterium found in soil-dwelling nematode worms. Called Xenorhabdus nematophila, the bacterial symbiont produces toxins and immuno-modulators, enabling the nematode to colonize and kill insects. The bacteria further benefit the host nematode by releasing antibiotics that prevent the invasion of the insect’s carcass by other competing bacteria and fungi.
To identify the antibiotics, University of Illinois scientists and their colleagues from Nosopharm, a biotechnology company based in Lyon, France, screened 80 cultured strains of the bacteria for antimicrobial activity.
The researchers then isolated the active compounds, studied their chemical structures and engineered more potent derivatives.
They found that odilorhabdins act on the ribosome — the molecular machine of individual cells that makes the proteins it needs to function — of bacterial cells.

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