Scientists from Novozymes have now found the mechanism by which plectasin, an anti-microbial peptide, kills bacteria that cause severe infections in humans.
Peptide antibiotics such as plectasin have retained antibiotic activity throughout evolution. The new knowledge shows that plectasin and other related peptides from invertebrates such as flies and mussels, targets the ‘Achilles heel’ of bacteria. Basically it binds and sequesters a precursor used in the cell-wall biosynthesis. As the bacteria cannot live without the cell-wall they are rapidly killed.
Experiments with plectasin show that it is very difficult for bacteria to develop resistance towards it. Bacteria truly resistant to Vancomycin, one of the antibiotics of choice in combating resistant bacteria and which also binds the same precursor, are still sensitive towards plectasin, making it a promising new alternative to resistant infections. Continue reading “Novozymes reveals knowledge on new antibiotic against resistant bacteria”