WSJ New Antibiotic
The discovery of a new class of antibiotic, called teixobactin, was reported last week in the journal Nature. The news is especially welcome, given rising bacterial strains resistant to existing antibiotics and the lack of new antibiotics. Teixobactin kills bacteria by binding on to multiple targets and then causing the cell walls to break down. It has been shown to be effective against bacteria that cause certain types of pneumonia, tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus. However, it is not effective against most strains of Gram-negative bacteria, which many existing antibiotics have difficulty treating. These gram-negative bacteria include the bugs that cause cholera, gonorrhea and several common food-borne illnesses.