New antibiotics fight drug-resistant staph

Aug. 30, 2005 at 4:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Researchers at Notre Dame University say they have developed three antibiotics that kill the highly resistant and potentially deadly Staphylococcus bacteria.

The antibiotics masquerade as parts of the cell wall in bacteria to deactivate a key enzyme -- penicillin-binding protein 2a -- to halt methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

MRSA, which has resisted even the most powerful antibiotics previously, accounts for an increasing number of hospital-related infections.

The antibiotics are synthetic forms of cephalosporin, which is related to penicillin.

Lead researcher Shahriar Mobashery told a Monday meeting of the American Chemical Society that the antibiotics could be a new way to fight antibiotic-resistant infections.

"As scientists, we're trying to stay one step ahead of the bacteria. The more strategies there are to fight resistance, the better," he said.

Researchers, who also reported findings in the society's journal, said human testing must be completed before the drugs could be marketed.

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