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Discovery of an effective antibiotic against resistant bacteria

Scientists have discovered in a soil sample taken in Italy a new antibiotic, which is effective against bacteria resistant to known antimicrobials.

This new antibiotic, produced by a microbe, has been called "pseudouridimycin" (PUM).

It has destroyed a wide range of bacteria, many of which are resistant, in laboratory experiments. He was also able to cure scarlet fever in mice.

This discovery is the subject of a publication Thursday in the American scientific journal Cell.

Pseudouridimycin neutralizes an enzyme that is essential to virtually all functions of each organism, the polymerase.

But its mechanism differs from that of rifampicin, a class of antibiotics that also targets this same enzyme.

This new anti-microbial is thus ten times less likely to trigger resistance to antibiotics than those currently on the market.

The PUM killed twenty species of bacteria in the laboratory and was especially effective against streptococci and staphylococci, several of which are resistant to multiple antibiotics.

Clinical trials with this new antibiotic could begin within three years and be released in the next 10 years, researchers at Rutgers-New Brunswick University and the Italian biotechnology company Naicons said.

This discovery shows once again that the bacteria found in the soil are the best source of new antibiotics, scientists pointed out.

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