New antibiotic could help kill number of superbugs

Taryn Davies
Published: January 8, 2015

Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic which could be used to help fight tuberculosis, amongst other superbugs.

The new drug is the first antibiotic that has been discovered in nearly 30 years and scientists are claiming it’s a ‘game changer’.

Teixobactin is the new antibiotic, and the research has revealed that it can kill some bacteria as fast as other antibiotics. The research also revealed it cured laboratory mice that had bacterial infections, plus there were no toxic side effects.

Researchers say that it might be six years before the drug is available for human use, but believe that it marks an incredible breakthrough in the fight against bacterial diseases.

Scientists went back to basics to create this antibiotic and used soil in its creation.

Professor Kim Lewis, the lead scientist, revealed that they have created 25 new antibiotics using this method, and teixobactin is the most promising one they have discovered.

The lack of effective antibiotics has been a worry for a long time, with David Cameron even suggesting that we could be cast back to the dark ages where people die of trivial infections because we've built up a resistance to antibiotics.

The studies have revealed that this antibiotic can kill bacteria just as quickly as other antibiotics,  vancomycin and oxacillin.

Professor Neil Woodward, of Public Health England, said that antibiotic resistance is a big threat, but this discovery could make a big difference. Even though it a long and costly process, it's one that should be encouraged.