For years, medical professionals have worried about the decreasing potency of antibiotics. With the drugs frequently prescribed to treat all kinds of infections, bacteria are becoming progressively more resilient to this form of treatment.
But now there’s some good news: scientists believe they may have found a new type of antibiotic that could counteract the growing issue of drug resistance.
Recent studies funded by pharmaceutical firm Novobiotic on lab mice showed that a new antibiotic known as teixobactin is capable of killing normally drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis, Staphylococcus, anthrax, and Clostridium difficile, which can cause diarrhea.
Importantly, the mice showed no side effects when treated with teixobactin, giving researchers hope that it could be approved for human testing in the future.
Still, it could be some time before we see teixobactin prescribed to patients. Kim Lewis, a consultant for Novobiotic, says she expects the drug to “be in clinical trials two years from now.”
But Lewis believes that, once it’s ready to be prescribed, teixobactin could offer protection for a very long time. In fact, the Northeastern University researcher says it could be three decades before bacteria develop an effective resistance to the drug.
“This is a very promising development,” says Nigel Brown, director of Britain’s Society of General Microbiology. “We desperately need new antibiotics to tackle bacterial infections.”