Many drugs that are already approved to be used to treat parasitic infections, infertility, cancers and other medical conditions also show up antibiotic properties against tuberculosis infections, and staph, reveals a new study conducted by the chemists and collaborators at the University of Illinois. These agents have the ability to act against several targets within the bacteria, and this might be tougher for the bacteria to develop resistance to persist. This study is led by Eric Oldfield, the Chemistry professor at the university and it was published in the recent edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Oldfield stated that there is a huge requirement for the use of new antibiotics, and we now have bacteria that are drug resistant as well. The bugs are clever, and they can adapt and look for ways around those that we develop to kill them. In case, the bugs are attacked at multiple targets, it will be very tough for them to little changes to get around the situation. The researchers were interested in looking for compounds that can sabotage the energy production line of bacteria and shutting down the cellular processes that take place within the bacterium. Such agents are called uncouplers, and these were used earlier to treat the parasitic infections.
The researchers were inspired by a leprosy drug called clofazimine that is used to treat tuberculosis, and they searched the drugs that are available and in development to look out for uncouplers that are based on chemical structures. Such multi-target drugs have wide applications against a slew of infections. The researchers searched for other compounds that have similar structures to vacquinol, and they found compounds that are potent antibiotics against Staphylococcus aureus and tuberculosis. Oldfield hopes to build up compounds that are metabolized into the uncouplers that are located in the bacterial cell, and this will further minimize the cross-reactivity with the human cells and make it tougher for the bacteria to build up resistance.