Antibiotic malacidins discovered from dirt

1 month ago Rishita Raj 0

The research and experiments in the field of health and medicines are exploring its wings after the discovery of first antibiotic “PENICILLIN” by Alexander Fleming in 1928. After, researching on more than hundred of soil samples Scientists from The Rockefeller University in New York have discovered a class of antibiotics named “Malacidins” from the soil.

Malacidins are produced by several microorganisms living in the soil and dirt, which can combat many pathogens as well as toxic to many drug-resistant bacteria(aka “superbugs”) such as MSLA(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) which mostly infects the people staying in the hospital. Drug-resistant diseases are a big threat which needs to vanish from the world.

The antibiotic malacidins can combat many multidrug-resistant pathogens.
The antibiotic malacidins can combat many multidrug-resistant pathogens.

Malacidins is developed by the technique of gene sequencing, the scientists have tested more than 1,000  unique soil samples from different parts to come up with such an antibiotic which can fight the infections.This natural antibiotic which is encoded in the soil microbiomes, work by interfering in the process that bacteria use to build their cell walls.These antibiotics are not toxic to human cells as human cells rely on the different process.

At first, malacidins was tested on the MSRA affected skin infections on rats. The antibiotic sterilized the infection and even after three weeks of contact with malacidins, the rats did not experience any side effects. So, the malacidins succeeded in this animal wound model also did not select for the resistance in laboratory conditions.

The researchers are working on to develop the compound for the real treatment of the people and increasing the drug’s effectiveness.

Limitations of Malacidins antibiotic:

Bacteria are classified into two groups-Gram positive bacteria(which have a cell wall containing a thick layer of peptidoglycan) and Gram-negative bacteria(consists of a thinner layer of peptidoglycan in the cell wall).The malicidins can only target gram-positive bacteria.So, the diseases caused by gram-positive bacteria such as leprosy, tuberculosis, trachoma can be treated whereas the diseases caused by the gram-negative bacteria like sexually transmitted diseases, plague remain ineffective by the malacidins.Hence, this antibiotic is not compatible with the universal class of bacteria.